HOLLY SPRINGS, Ga. — A Holly Springs Police officer who died in the line of duty last week was laid to rest Monday afternoon.
Services for the Ball Ground native were held on Monday afternoon at the First Baptist Church of Woodstock.
Many from near and far - some who never met Officer Joe Burson - joined the salute along the way. Among them were officers who knew of his sacrifice and felt connected through their own calling to serve their communities. And still more that came just wanted this family to know that countless numbers are grieving with them.
"We wanted to come here and just show everybody here the tragedy isn't just here in Holly Springs or Woodstock, or Georgia," said one person who attended. "It is felt in Chicago, Illinois; Boston, Massachusetts; California. Nationwide we all mourn."
Officer Burson, who is remembered as a "model officer" by many, died on Wednesday after being dragged by a suspect in what authorities said began as a traffic stop. Burson, just 24 years old, was also a man who loved his wife, his job, and his music.
And his wife was among those feeling the heartbreak of Burson's loss among those in attendance - perhaps her more than any. Still too emotional to speak at the service, she stood by the lectern as a friend read her message to the public.
"You were so brave. You died doing what you loved. I couldn't have asked for anything else," it read. "Babe, you will forever be my always, my hero, my officer, my husband."
"Mrs. 235 won't let you down," the message concluded.
The funeral lasted about 45 minutes followed by a private burial service at a nearby cemetery - the path to which was lined, once again, by a community of locals and strangers showing respect for an officer lost and a family just beginning to grieve.