Mourners Came To Respect, Honor Fallen Cops

MIAMI (CBS4) – It could have been a law enforcement reunion in Downtown Miami, if the reason the officers had gathered there was not so sad. From across South Florida, they came to the American Airlines Arena to say good-bye to two of their own.

They came to mourn, and to remember.

The symbols of honor were everywhere.Officers lined the streets as the two escorted hearses rolled past. As they arrived at the arena, they passed under a huge flag, hoisted by the ladders of fire trucks.

A fireboat gushed a watery salute nearby.

The faces of Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth gazed down on the scene from the jumbo screen that adorns the side of the Arena. The gathering, pomp, and circumstance was for them, to honor their service the the lives they gave pursuing it.

“To think today’s going to be your last day? You never think that, going to work,” said Palm Beach deputy April Sovich. “It just goes to show, it hits home.”

Honor was paid by horse patrols, a flotilla, and of course, a police honor guard.

“We’ve been through this before,” said Miami Gardens Police Sgt. John Mulcahy. “I’m sure we’ll be through this again, at some point in the future, but it is never easy.”

But while the majority of the people who gathered at the Arena were members of the law enforcement community, Miami-Dade police invited citizens to come. Some gathered to watch the hearses arrive. Others stayed for the service inside. All were there because they were moved, in some way, by the tale of lives lost doing a difficult job.

“They are really dedicated to protect people,” said Miami resident Michael Jackowicz, “and I’m really sorry to see what happened, and I’m here to express mo condolences.”

You don’t often hear the skirl of bagpipes on Biscayne Boulevard, but the pipers were there Monday to play a mournful dirge. Retired New York City officer Joseph Scimeca said deaths like this remain with a cop.

“We never forget,” he said. “People go home tomorrow or the next week and might forget but we’ll never forget. No. It’s part of the job that stays with you. Once a police officer, always a police officer.”

Each had their own reason for coming to Monday’s service, but it the end it was all pretty much the same. They cane to say thanks, and to say they would not forget.

Click here to read more about the procession that took the officers to their final resting place.

Click here for more on how the South Florida community is reacting to the shooting deaths of Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo.

More from Gary Nelson
  • helen

    My heart goes out to the coworkers of those slain in such a horrible and ruthless way. They died in the course of completing their duty. Their families… It’s just really sad. Tears come but they aren’t enough. I will pray for their rest tonight. Amanda and Roger, God bless.

  • manny

    my heart goes out to the families of the police’s service was great,inspiring speeches from the families,colleagues,and eulogy from the archbishop wenski is inspiring.we as the community must come together and unite,decrease the violence,increase the peace.those people who are harboring these criminals, do the community a favor, turn in these amanda and roger,god bless

  • Elma D.

    It really hurt to see two young people lost their lifes by someone who life has no value, tears fall from my eyes when i see the young boys to grow without a father or a mother,my heart goes out to the entire families of both Amanda and Roger ,These police officers are HEROES and we need to continue to pray for them .Today services was well put togather but was very emotional as i close i will keep you all in my prayer .Thanks to you all police and firefighter may the good lord bless and keep you all safe .Thank you.

  • carmen

    i can’t believe that a day long hoopla took place on Monday. Death is part of that job. 99% of the time, the girls in blue are the murderers, so it’s only right that their turn come along. Where are the highway shut down and hoopla when an innocent person is killed? The innocent are also brothers. sister, mothers, fathers..

    • Maria

      Carmen, you apparently are neither a mother, sister or even close to a human being with a rediculous, stupid and ignorant remark like that. The “hoopla” as you call it was to show honor to the two officers that gave their life protecting morons like you. Yes death is a reality that officers face everyday, but they still do their jobs regardless. And for the “girls in blue” comment, you should be put down like a rabid animal, you serve no purpose in this world unlike the two heroes that died.

  • Auri

    Carmen these two officers were heroes. They lost their lifes to take a criminal, a murderer an evil kid that had no regard for life off the streets and they paid the ultimate life for this. Have some respect. I’m sure when your in an emergency you don’t call someones brother or sister you call 911.

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