Hundreds of police officers and Marines attend Wyman funeral in Utica
Mon, 13 Jun 2011 21:47:35 GMT —
The hundreds of fellow police officers and U.S. Marines who came to Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Kurt Wyman's funeral did their best to keep emotions in check, but for many in the community, some emotions are still very raw.
As a large crowd entered the Utica Memorial Auditorium, some said the sadness and heartbreak of Kurt Wyman's death was overwhelming. Several people teared up just thinking about the fact that just hours after Wyman was killed in the line of duty, his wife gave birth to a baby girl - their second child.
"It's obviously upsetting. Two little kids who will never remember him," said Gianna Tobiaz just before she entered the service.
Friends and family described Wyman as a hero, not only for his work as a deputy sheriff and as a marine but for a lifelong devotion to helping others whenever they needed it.
Fellow officers said the gathering was a show of support but also a sobering reminder of how dangerous the job can be.
"This is a way of life," said Sgt. Douglas Keyton of the Newark, NY Police Department. "It's not simply a job you go to and go home - it's a way of life for all of us."
"It's a brotherhood and a sisterhood. We all do the same job and we're there for each other," said Christian Hot from the Vermont State Police.
As the flag was taken off Kurt Wyman's casket and presented to his young wife Lauren, a crowd of thousands stood by in absolute silence. For many who watched, it was a powerful moment filled with both the honor of his service and undeniable sadness of his loss.
"It's devastating. He accomplished more at the age of 24 than adults that have lived their entire life," said Melissa Tobiaz.
Deputy Wyman is expected to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A fund has been set up to help his family.