With streets lined with American flags and blue and black ribbons, mourners gathered to say a final goodbye on Friday to a slain Massachusetts police sergeant who was killed in the line of duty last weekend.
The funeral mass for Weymouth Sgt. Michael Chesna was held at St. Mary of the Sacred Heart in Hanover, followed by a burial at Blue Hill Cemetery in Braintree.
"Today we honor the memory of Sgt. Michael C. Chesna. We remember him as a loyal and dedicated husband, a devoted father, a son, a brother, an uncle, a soldier, a friend and a police officer, but most importantly, an American hero and patriot," said Joseph Comperchio, Chesna's brother-in-law and a captain with the Weymouth police.
Comperchio also offered words of comfort to Chesna's wife and children, Olivia, 9, and Jack, 4.
"I know that no words I provide you with today can ease the pain that you now have," he said. "I promise you this - the members of the Weymouth Police Department are your family, and you will never be alone."
Comperchio spoke of Chesna's sarcastic personality and great sense of humor. He said Chesna played in a weekly men's basketball league and loved all Boston area sports teams, especially the New England Patriots.
"Mike, you are my hero and I am truly honored to have known you, both personally and professionally," he said. "We love you and we will miss you."
Comperchio also read a letter from Chesna's wife Cynthia.
"Mike, I would like to tell you that I love you more than anything in this world and that you are my best friend and the best dad the kids could ever have," her statement said. "I will make sure the kids know how great you are and how fortunate I was to have you in my life... Mike, my hero, I will always love you and forever."
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called the funeral "brutally sad & beautifully done" in a message on Twitter on Friday afternoon.
While friends, relatives, fellow Weymouth officers and political dignitaries packed the church, thousands of officers from departments across the country stood at attention outside. Residents lined streets and overpasses for the procession from the church to the cemetery.
"It's a time for the community to get together and remember what's important - family and just caring for each other," said Gary Martin of East Providence.
"The police give so much, risk so much, and many times we don't appreciate it," added Pat Murphy of Hanover.
Later Friday, a junior legion baseball game drew special attention, with all proceeds going to Chesna's wife and children.
Chesna, 42, was on the force for six years and was a U.S. Army combat veteran. He graduated from Weymouth High School in 1994 and went on to train at Boylston Police Academy.
The fallen sergeant, who was promoted posthumously, was killed Sunday after he responded to a report of an erratic driver and crashed vehicle.
Emanuel Lopes, 20, allegedly threw a large rock at the sergeant’s head then grabbed Chesna’s gun and shot him.
The alleged gunman is also accused of opening fire and killing 77-year-old Vera Adams through a window. The innocent bystander was in her home’s sunroom when she was shot.
Lopes pleaded not guilty to the two first-degree murder charges earlier this week. He was formally arrested in his hospital bed with Chesna's handcuffs.
Services for Adams have not been announced.