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.