COLORADO SPRINGS — Thousands showed up today to honor the bravery of Deputy Andrew Peery killed in the line of duty earlier this month.
Fallen Deputy Andrew Peery was remembered as a husband, father of two children, a warrior, a soldier, and so many other roles.
He was also a member of the SWAT team here for El Paso County Sheriff's Office. Signing up for that job is no easy role. One of his fellow deputies described what it meant to be a SWAT team member.
"Emotions are tough because it really hits home,' said Sergeant Jason Newton of the Colorado Springs Police Department, 'But we just know that it's important to continue to serve."
The service began with Sheriff Bill Elder walking alongside the hearse carrying Deputy Peery, as it arrived, his wife Meghan, and children Matthew and Amy followed behind him as Peery's casket was taken into the church.
The shattered law enforcement community showed up to hold up the Peery Family in their grief as thousands attended from across the community, state, and the nation.
Sgt. Jason Garrett of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office delivered this to the Peery family and Peery's brothers and sisters in blue. "The thin blue line is the line all peace officers stand on to protect society from evil. When the thin blue line suffers a loss, such as the one we are here for today, it is critical that all peace officers band together to hold the strength of that line."
A line strengthened by messages of faith.
"We miss your husband, we miss your Dad, we miss your son, we miss your brother so very much and you need to know the great shepherd is our God is close as your next heartbeat." said Chaplain Bob Swales of the El Paso County Sheriff's office.
"If I wanted to sum up the lasting impact he had on me. It would come from memory through my wife Sarah. She rarely had a conversation with Andrew which he would assure, he would always take care of me and bring me home. I love you bother." his fellow El Paso County Deputy Matt Gaw remarked on the impact Peery had on him.
And of love for the family left behind,
Sheriff Bill Elder comforted the family and reminded them, "you have inherited thousands of parents in blue who will always be here for you", accompanied by Deputy Ryan Gonzalez who ensured the Peery family, "we will always be there for that first date no matter the day or time of night we will be there".
Matthew Peery the brother of Andrew Peery left the attendees with some closing remarks on his brother and those who cared for him.
"He was a better man than me, he was a better soldier than me, he was a better cop than me. I appreciate you all for coming."
Among those honoring the memory of Deputy Andrew Peery was a strong outpouring of support from the local community.
"We just both thought it was very important to come out here and show our support, especially for the family and just for our community for the great loss that we've had, and what he did," said Tracy and Leo Swiontek who lined up on the procession route after Deputy Andrew Peery's Memorial Service. "Just hearing the other deputies speak about Peery and his life and just the sacrifices that these guys make every day and their families."
Support came from different law enforcement agencies across the country and locally.
"You'll see agencies from Bakersfield, from New York City, all the way from Fairbanks, Alaska here to honor Deputy Peery and his family,' said Sergeant Jason Newton of the Colorado Springs Police Department. "It's really great to see."
Sergeant Jason Newton also expressed his personal loss. "He sacrificed his life to save other lives and that's why we come together to honor him, honor his family, let his kids know that their dad is a hero, and he won't be forgotten."
Monday will be known as a day to remember and honor Deputy Peery amongst those in the community. "He died in the line of duty for us and we appreciate our police," said community member Joe Duran.
"We need them. They're there for us,' said Sallyanne Holmes, 'Let's be here for them."
And the community continues to show support for the El Paso County sheriff's office. "A lot of this community has your back. We are behind you. 100%," said Tracy and Leo Swiontek.
Deputy Andrew Peery: A life of service by Bill Folsom
Widow offers support to fallen deputy Andrew Peery's family by Dianne Derby
The Hundred Club of Colorado Springs helps family of fallen deputy by Maggie Bryan
Community pays respects to fallen Deputy Andrew Peery at flag raising ceremony by Ashley Portillo
Law enforcement community in Pueblo reacts to the loss of Deputy Andrew Peery by Sophia King
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