In Memoriam, for Cpl. David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly, Topeka Police

Large flag over Topeka BoulevardCrowd gathers, early Saturday a.m.Volunterring to stand with flagsCrowd of volunteersFlags were provided by local area We head out to line the roadwayTaking positionsSome volunteers brought their kidsCold until mid-morning because of rising sun and snow Breeze picks up the large flagRe grouping to prepare for the procession to the cemeterySheriff motorcycle patrol guardHurse and vehicles line up for processionMy position was at the turn onto Topeka Blvd. from the ExpoCentreYoung lady beside me had a special bannerVeteran demonstrated how to stand at attention to anyone who hadn't seen the demo earlierDoing my partWe move and line up for the second funeral arrivalsIt had warmed up a great deal by 2 p.m.Near the entrance to the ExpoCentreMy spot in this third honor guardWe line up on both sides of the entrance wayAt ease between events

Respect mixed with sadness

About 500 volunteers came out for the funerals of Topeka police officers Cpl. David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly, who died in the line of duty. Flags were provided by local American Legion posts. This was my first time to stand. It was an honor to be a part of this outpouring of respect for our fallen officers.

Patriot Guard patch

Newspaper coverage of these events

Topeka Capital-Journal, January 1, 2013, Letter-to-the-Editor—

Topeka Police honor ribbon“I am writing on behalf of the men and women of the Topeka Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3 to express our deep appreciation for the sympathy that has been shown to the families of our fallen brothers, Cpl. David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly.

“There are no words adequate enough to say thank you to everyone who has expressed their sympathy during the loss of our brothers. The families' lives have been changed forever because of a senseless and tragic act of violence. The prayers, sympathy cards, food, flowers, holding of signs, flags, monetary donations to a memorial fund and kind expressions will help the families cope with the challenges life brings. The kindness the community has shown will help the families during the coming days, weeks, and months and years ahead, and during a moment of sorrow a cherished memory will console the families.

“You also have had an impact on the law enforcement community. We are fortunate to be policing in a community where there is a type of caring that you have demonstrated. It makes a demanding job a little easier to do knowing this community truly appreciates the sacrifice our brothers made for it.

“David and Jeff served the community with honor, dedication, pride and a duty to protect its citizens. We will never forget these fine men nor will we forget the support the community has shown their families.

“We cannot thank you enough.”


© 2013 by Carol Yoho
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