Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The 2nd Annual Heroes in Blue Knights of Honor Gala was held on Friday night.

The event featured 17 law enforcement and citizen heroes, who were "knighted" for their acts of kindness throughout the year.

USC Men's Basketball coach Frank Martin was the keynote speaker for the evening.

The event was created, through the Heroes and Blue organization, two years ago after the tragic shooting death of Forest Acres Police Officer Greg Alia.

Alia's wife Kassy says they wanted to highlight those who demonstrated what it means to be a hero

"We say that a hero is someone who, like Greg, treats their community with compassion and respect every day," says Alia. "That's why our logo is actually a story about Greg tying the shoes of a young boy. That's a story I heard after he died."

"This isn't just a benefit, this is a demonstration of our values as well," says Alia.

The second anniversary of her husband's death is Sept 30th. So, the Heroes in Blue organization will be honoring his life at the State House, starting at 11 am on Saturday.

Alia says all are welcomed to attend.