08 January 2011

American Hero

When I started this blog it was to share the things I do, the pictures I take and the places I go.  
Most of the time I get to go to fun places and do entertaining things.
This week, however, I had to take a difficult trip and thought it was important to share it with you.

On January first, late in the morning, Deputy Suzanne Hopper became the first police officer in the US killed in the line of duty for 2011.  January first, not even past the first day of the year, not even lunch time and we lost a peace officer to violence.  The trip on Friday was with thousands of others to celebrate her life and show her family how important their daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend was to everyone.  (News story here.)


There were almost 1000 police vehicles from across the country, Maryland to California 
and all points in between.  The procession of cars was 4 miles long.


The cars met early, but due to the large number, it took extra time to get into the church and cemetery. 
They used the largest church in the county, 2 overflow rooms (gym, school) and 
could not fit in everyone who showed up to celebrate her life.


Along the route were signs, lowered flags, and many community members 
who stood in the cold for hours to show their support and thanks.


(These are SOOC and from a moving vehicle, sorry for the blur).



It was very cold and at one point snowing, bless them for staying out there.



Outside the church, no matter where you looked there was a cruiser, fire truck, or medic parked there.  I did not take photos during the portions of the service itself, out of respect for the family.  Just picture people standing elbow to elbow in every space available, using every chair they could find, and crowding around the doors to hear what was being said.


"Suzanne heard another call...our Angel with a Badge."







Scripture and a Snapshot - Katie Lloyd Photography








Straight out of the Camera - Murrieta 365






M.E.

34 comments:

Jan said...

What a touching post and your photos are great. We're an LAPD family, my husband retired after 28 1/2 years.

Mark said...

1. The first one is my favorite. In my neighborhood, unfortunately the red-and-blues usually mean imminent danger, but seeing this line of them and knowing it's tribute and support is extremely powerful. The fact they're lighting up the Ohio greyness is heartening, perhaps it helped everyone face a tremendously sad day.

2. I totally suck for not knowing about this blog sooner. It's TERRIFIC-- your passion for the work really shows! From here on out, consider yourself followed... ;)

pip said...

Thank you for documenting this journey. Your photos are powerful.

Katie said...

My heart breaks for her family. You picked a wonderful verse for this.

Jen at Cabin Fever said...

That is incredibly an incredibly sad and tragic story. The entire procession is so honorable. What a great tribute to an awful thing. No one should die like that...

Thank you for sharing these images. They all depict such a stoic story. The last one, the bokeh, is very nice too.

Cabin Fever in Vermont

Mom of M&Ms said...

Praying for all officers..

Corina said...

Wow.....thanks for sharing her story and the support shown. Brought tears to my eyes. My hubby is an officer.

gengen said...

Sorry to hear that. Life is really doesn't when to stop. SOOC Sunday here...

Mommy2Four said...

My heart breaks for that family....thank you for your images!

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

What a wonderful tribute to a Hero.

Natalie said...

Wow, this brought tears to my eyes! But it's great to see a community coming together and fellow officers showing their resepect for her and her family! I am sorry for her loss..and her family and 'police family' will be in my prayers.

maryt/theteach said...

Thank you for letting us share in this memorial.

Ashley Sisk said...

This brings tears to my eyes too - what a powerful message and how telling of this community that rallies in support!

Amber said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. And don't be sorry for the blur, we are better for having read and experienced this from your perspective.

May God pour mercy and peace upon her family as they mourn her loss.

Evelyn said...

Thanks for sharing these photos.

Michelle said...

What a beautiful tribute - this made me tear all up!

Amen.

julandmatt said...

You really caught the emotion of the moment. Beautiful tribute.

Kathleen said...

Wow! Such a moving post and photos! I'm so glad so many were there to pay her such a tribute and to support her family by showing how much she was appreciated for her incredible service.

cooperl788 said...

This is such a beautiful post - your scripture really is perfect for the picture and the story that goes with it.

SouthernSass said...

Wow - what a beautiful tribute to her. I remember seeing this on the news and how touched I was by the official giving the statement (Commanding Officer or Chief?) who actually teared up on camera when announcing that she had been killed. May God bless all of those who protect and serve!!

Jenn said...

What a touching post! This is really such a sad story. Oh but the hope that lies beneath the surface of death when a loved one knows Christ and leaves this world to enter the eternal home of Heaven. Beautiful pictures.

bek said...

I'm so sorry to hear this but what a beautiful testimony your Scripture is.

And thank you for stopping by and for your kind words.

☆Mama Ko☆ said...

I love your post, very touching and interesting

Kala said...

I have never seen so many police vehicles in one place before. A very sad story, but this post is a beautiful tribute.

Denise said...

So very sad but one I'm glad I read this morning. So much violence in the world and yet so much love for the fallen. Thank you MarieElizabeth for sharing this post.

lisaschaos said...

Such an outpouring of support! Amazing! This speaks volumes!

justine said...

oh my heart just skipped when I read this, how terribly sad and thank you for sharing.

Aurora730 said...

Thank you for sharing this very sad and personal experience. Your photos are a graphic reminder that thousands of men and women go to work every day knowing that they may wind up in harm's way in the course of their daily duties. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Suzanne and all the others in that thin blue line.

Emily said...

How sad and what a great reminder with Psalm 23:6

Angel Wings and Apron Strings said...

You've done a beautiful job in bringing us this sad story. Wonderful poignant images. Prayers for the loved ones.
blessings..Trish

nanny said...

Your pictures speak volumes.....very touching!

Laurie said...

What a tragedy! At least she lost her life in a noble cause.

Great pictures...:)

Zhanna said...

This really grieved my heart. I can't even imagine what her family and friends are going through. I pray for God's indescribable peace to fall upon them.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. My husband is retired from the Washington State Patrol, but long before I met him. Your post gave me a real sense of what it is like to be there at one of these funeral processions.

Kathy