Two Topeka police officers gunned down in the line of duty last Sunday, were laid to rest Saturday
At their final salute, they were surrounded by the men and women who put their lives on the line every day. While outside, the streets were filled with the people they're sworn to protect.
As family, friends, and fellow officers paid their respects to Officer Jeff Atherly and Corporal David Gogian, crowds of people gathered outside the funeral services to show their respect for the two fallen officers.
The majority of people who lined the streets never met Officer Atherly or Corporal Gogian but that didn't stop them from showing up to show their support for the two men and all law enforcement.
"They wake up every day not knowing if they'll go home to their family and they do that because they love helping and they want to protect us,” one woman said.
Corporal Gogian's funeral was in the morning. Officer Atherly's was later this afternoon. At both services, the funeral procession passed by more than 500 flags.
The Topeka high Junior ROTC also gave up their Saturday and the chance to defend their five year reign as champions at today's city drill meet.
"I think I speak for all the cadets when i say we don’t mind missing the competition as long as we're here to support our community,” one JROTC member said.
Whether they held signs, flags, or offered a simple sign of respect as the procession passed by; the crowd did whatever they could to show they're thankful for the two officers' service and sacrifice.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Thousands turned out to pay their respects to two Topeka Police officers killed in the line of duty last Sunday while responding to a call at an area Dillons.
50 year-old Corporal David Gogian and 29 year-old Officer Jeff Atherly were laid to rest Saturday in seperate services attended by officials that included Governor Sam Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
Brownback spoke to mourners, assuring them they were not alone in their time of need.
"I hope you can accept the sorrow of the state, the people of Kansas. They mourn with you. They're sorry for you and they will not forget these two great men."
Speaking during Gogian's service, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said, "He gave his life in loving service to the community, responding to a report of suspicious activity. He died as a protector to us all."