A woman was overcome with emotion as she spoke at the vigil for her late husband, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this year.
On New Year’s Eve 2018, Colorado police officer Zackari Parrish responded to a call of a domestic disturbance at a Highlands Ranch apartment complex. During the investigation, Matthew Riehl fired at the officers, and Parrish was killed, while four other laws enforcement officers were wounded. Two civilians were also injured.
During the vigil for Parrish, his wife, Gracie, was overcome with grief, but managed to read an emotional letter dedicated to her husband.
In the moving letter, Gracie made many promises to him: “I promise to raise our girls with the Lord as our focus. I promise to raise them in a home that bleeds blue. I promise to teach them to kick a soccer ball, have a love for music and a love for the outdoors. I promise not to teach them to drive when they turn 16 and instead get your brothers in blue to do the job. I promise to tell them every day that their daddy loved them to the moon.”
“You are my rock, my heart and my soulmate and I am so proud of you. I will honor and celebrate you with every fiber of my being for the rest of my life,” she added.
Gracie also thanked everyone for their support.
“I am overwhelmed with by [sic] the love and support of the community and of the nation. Never in my world would I have imagined this,” she said, per 9News.com. “And I will raise my girls to love you.”
One of Gracie’s young daughters then interrupted her at a particularly emotional point with comforting words.
“It’s OK momma, it’s OK,” her 4-year-old daughter whispered to her. “Just be happy.”
Gracie asked the attendees to share stories about Parrish.
“I remember roll call and I’d be like, what are you doing tonight Parrish?” a former colleague recalled.
He made a joke and said that Parrish would respond with, “Whooeee someone’s going to jail tonight!”
Some spoke of how motivated and passionate Parrish was.
“Zack didn’t have an off switch,” one said.
“He didn’t flinch, he didn’t back down, he didn’t hesitate,” David Buyers, Parrish’s sergeant with the Douglas County Sheriff’s department, said.
A GoFundMe account, which was set up to help Gracie and her two daughters, has exceeded the goal of raising $350,000 in three months.
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Parents emotionally knowing that their lost son has left the gift of life to this 9-year-old girl 💝💞