BANGOR – More than 2,000 men and women in uniform paid their respects at the memorial for a fallen law enforcement officer from Maine.
Cpl. Eugene Cole was gunned down at the end of April while on duty in Norridgewock for the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.
“For law enforcement, the hardest thing in the world is knowing that you’ve lost a brother,” said Sgt. Tim Jeffrey of Aurora Police Department in Colorado. “And then you worry about the officers and the family, then you see the community and the loss they have, especially out here where there is a small tight-knit community and law enforcement.”
Jeffrey flew into Maine from Colorado to attend the memorial.
Cole was the first officer to be shot to death in the line of duty in nearly 30 years.
Law enforcement from across Maine converged on the Cross Insurance Center for the memorial service, with members of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office seated behind Cole’s family.
Jeffrey is a member of the Brotherhood for the Fallen, a law enforcement group that started in Chicago in 2010 after a number of devastating deaths involving fellow police officers.
“Unfortunately, we’ve attended over 300 funerals and I believe since the beginning of the year, we’ve lost 30 officers nationwide, including Corporal Cole,” said Sgt. Matt Swain of the Chicago Police Department.
“They are all equally tragic and equally unique as far as their stories go so we’re just here to support the family of Corporal Cole,” Swain added later.
The Brotherhood for the Fallen, sadly, will leave Maine for another law enforcement funeral in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Amongst the law enforcement officers and Cole’s relatives and friends was a musician from Pennsylvania who was asked by the family and one of Cole’s co-workers to attend and sing his song, “last call.”
“The song ‘last call’ was written after I heard the last call of a fallen officer,” said Dave Bray, who is a patriotic musician who sang the last title on his ‘Music on a Mission’ album, which will be released on May 21. “A friend of my had sent me the radio broadcast that had come across the airwaves and he said, ‘You have to hear this.’ And after I heard the dispatcher’s voice quivering and reading the badge number, it inspired me to write a song.”
He described the last call for Cole, which was conducted during the memorial, as…
“Every stoic. Very sad,” Bray said.