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Fallen officers were honored for making the ultimate sacrifice in Cleveland Friday.
Thousands of police officers from departments across Northeast Ohio marched down Lakeside Avenue in Cleveland. The annual parade is to remember fellow police officers who have died while serving and protecting their communities.
Showing strength and poise, the teenaged daughters of 43-year-old Elyria patrolman James Kerstetter, who was shot to death March 15, walked to honor their dad.
“It’s been tough but it gets easier, and like the constant support you get, it’s good, it makes you feel better. He really helped a lot of people and stuff, so it’s good to know that people still care,” said daughter Misty Kerstetter.
“I really like coming to ceremonies and see how many people are honoring, people should really just keep honoring them because police officers do so much for their community,” said daughter Shelby Kerstetter.
The parade was followed by a Memorial Service, that included the dedication of a renovated Peace Officers Memorial.
Some people talked with friends, some stood quietly, others held back tears and some mourners wept openly, but all were a reminder of the many lives touched by Elyria police Officer James A. Kerstetter.
The line of mourners wanting to pay their respects to Kerstetter yesterday stretched from the doorway of the Bauer-Laubenthal-Mercado Funeral Home, 38475 Chestnut Ridge Road, through the parking lot. Houses along Dewhurst Road had their yards lined with American flags in tribute to the fallen officer and police directed overflowing traffic into nearby lots in response to the heavy turnout.