Officers from across the country pay respects to fallen patrolman
(SCRANTON, Pa.) — Family, friends, and police officers from all over the nation gathered in Scranton to say farewell to Officer John Wilding, the patrolman died in the line of duty last weekend.
It has been a solemn morning at St. Peter's Cathedral in downtown Scranton as the young officer was saluted for his service and his sacrifice.
A police escort brought his casket to his funeral.
Inside the church, Officer Wilding's casket was followed by his wife and two young children.
The church was packed with police officers, many of them emotional as tribute after tribute was given to the 29-year-old police officer who lost his life on the job.
"I realized recently that I have to go back to what I was taught, that we've all been taught how to show that compassion and kindness to all people," said Scranton Police Cpl. Thomas McDonald. "It's funny how you don't learn that kind of lesson until you have to write a eulogy for your friend. John, I promise I will not forget that lesson."
"In the time I got to know Officer Wilding, I came to know a man who's dedicated to his city and gave himself to be a model professional," said Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright. "Patrolman John Wilding represented the best Scranton had to offer. He didn't just die a hero, he lived every day as a hero to his community."
"To the men and women of the Scranton Police Department I say this: while John may not physically be with us, he will always live inside of us. We should not dwell in how he died but how he lived," said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano.