WEST DES MOINE, Iowa -- People are compelled in a situation like the death of West Des Moines Police Officer Shawn Miller to show their respect, regardless of whether they knew him or not.
As we have seen in the recent past, funeral processions are massive and leave a lasting impact not only for those involved but also those who watched
“We’ve had some tears this morning and watched the funeral a little bit while we were waiting,” said Phyllis Stadlander.
goodbye to Senior Officer Shawn Miller.
Waiting is what Stadlander did with her four grandkids but admits she thought about grieving from home.
“Although it’s sad and we would have been happier today if we stayed away but it’s an important lesson in life,” she said.
The teachable moment of honoring others -- comes after a time of tragedy.
“It meant a lot to me to put that salute up,” said Nick Whitesell. "I feel bad for the cop and his family and I hope he`s having fun in heaven right now.”
Dozens of police departments and agencies from every corner of the state and out of state ushered Officer Miller to his final resting place.
Jody Hufford took time during the procession to reflect on how fragile life can be. Her husband is a member of the West Des Moines Fire Department
“Sometimes you get caught up, you get busy and then you have an incident like this, it makes you stop," said Hufford. “It makes you think and it makes you thankful for all that we have and the days and the moments we have with people we love.”
Love is something she and others along the route wish in full for the Miller family in the days, months and years ahead.
“I hope they know there are families who appreciate their family and the sacrifice they've given,” Stadlander said.
And that his service and legacy left a lasting impact
“ He touched so many lives, more than he knows just by the doing the role that he did,” Stadlander said.
This loss cuts deep within this community. Officer Miller was a hometown boy and went to high school at Dowling.