OAK CREEK -- An emotional procession followed a deeply moving funeral service for fallen Milwaukee Police Department Officer Matthew Rittner was held on Wednesday, Feb. 13. It took a while to get so many law enforcement vehicles moving but once they did, it was efficient and you could see how many police departments from across the state made their way for Officer Rittner's end of watch.
It's a melody that symbolizes a hero's goodbye followed by a powerful blast through the air.
On the day that would have been Officer Rittner's 36th birthday, the community mourned instead -- honoring his life at a funeral service and outside ceremony in Oak Creek. A symbolic end of watch echoed through police vehicles.
The 17-year-old veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department lost his life win the line of duty when one week ago while serving a search warrant on Milwaukee's south side.
Officer Rittner is being remembered as a man that not only served his community but also his country when he served two tours of duty in Iraq.
Rittner's funeral brought out police officers from across the country as well as current and former members of the U.S. Military.
"Because he's a veteran. He's a brother. It's a big brotherhood. There's the brotherhood of veterans, the brotherhood of policeman and the brotherhood of firemen," said Richard Pagel, U.S. Army veteran.
Officer Rittner is survived by his wife and son.
"I'm not a parent, never was, never will be but how do you explain to a 4-year-old kid that daddy ain't coming home anymore," said Pagel.
A long procession that soon became a sea of blue honoring a fallen brother and the admirable legacy he leaves behind.