Officers from across the U.S. attend Dallas officers' funerals
DALLAS - Dallas and DART police officers are getting support from their brother and sisters in blue from across the country as they attended the memorials for the five fallen officers.
Police patches from different departments are nestled in the sea of flowers and candles at the memorial at DPD Headquarters. The patches serve as a touching reminding of all the out of state officers who have visited the memorial to salute, pray and mourn their brothers in blue.
It's was a long journey for Sergeant William Thompson and six of his deputies from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Officer in Georgia. The men drove 13 hours on their motorcycles to be in Dallas for the funerals.
"We just picked up and left overnight,” Thompson said. “It's a loss, an absolute loss. It just tears your heart out. And it's senseless. Absolutely senseless."
Following the services, the deputies stopped by the memorial to pay their respects and quickly found out they weren't alone.
"This was just a little homage we paid to all of the officers who lost their lives trying to defend everyone exercising their first amendment right,” said Marcos De Rosa with the Miami-Dade Police Department Honor Guard.
Men and woman from police departments coast to coast converged on the plaza to take pictures, shake hands and find comfort in one another.
The Chicago Police Department Honor Guard took the ambush killing especially hard.
We've had a year when we've buried five men in the line of duty and we talked about what it was like to bury five guys that year,” said Officer William Riga with the Chicago police. “We couldn't imagine what it would be like to bury five people in an instant."
It’s a sentiment shared by Sergeant Mike Ostermuller with the Cherry Hill Police Department in New Jersey. He and his officers drove 22 hours to take part in DART Officer Brent Thompson's funeral procession.
“As soon as the incident took place, one or two of them started texting each other and decided even if they have to pay our own way this is something we wanted to do,” the sergeant explained.
Ostermuller’s brothers and sisters in blue from neighboring New York also came to help.
“Quite frankly, they need to be at the service itself,” said Paul Capotosto with the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association. “We didn't need to be there but we needed to be there to help.”
On top of attending the funerals, the officers from New York also brought food for the Dallas police officers, even though they weren’t asked to bring anything.
“You're not in this alone,” said Capotosto. “You don't have to be from Texas. We care.”