Bridgewater College students honor fallen officers
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - On the day of the funeral for fallen Bridgewater College Officer John Painter and Campus Safety Officer J.J. Jefferson, Bridgewater students expressed their gratitude to the fallen heroes.
Students say the officers were always around showing their support for students and helped make campus feel like home. After the funeral on Wednesday, a number of Bridgewater College students, faculty, and staff walked a lap around campus to honor the officers.
“As a presence they’re still here with us, with our team and as we go together they’re with us as well. It feels like we have to do this because they were here for us and now it’s time for us to be here for them,” said Diamond Husky, a women’s basketball player at Bridgewater College.
Even for students who didn’t know the officers personally, it was important to attend or watch the funeral to honor them and show the unity of Bridgewater College.
“I feel like it’s really important to help our community heal to come together as one at the funeral and just to also respect and commemorate them and the sacrifices they made because I think they saved so many lives,” said Katelyn Seagraves, a women’s soccer player at Bridgewater College.
Elsewhere in Bridgewater, the Cracked Pillar Pub had the funeral service playing on all its TVs giving people a chance to watch the ceremony with other community members.
“I couldn’t be more thankful for the officers, and it does suck because we’re such a small town and everybody knows everybody and we’re all friends here so it’s like everybody is really together at this time,” said Eva Ochoa, a Tuner Ashby High School student who watched the funeral at Cracked Pillar.
“It’s sad what happened but we’re glad to have two officers there that helped prevent more from happening,” added Katelyn Nazelrod, another TAHS student.
Students who walked the lap on Bridgewater’s campus say it was fitting that after a week of gloomy weather, Wednesday was a beautiful day, perfect to honor two beautiful souls.
“They did a lot just being here on campus and just being around the environment here so taking a walk and really feeling the presence of Bridgewater College and reminding us why we’re actually here and came to this campus because it’s basically home to us,” said Diamond Husky.
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