ELLENSBURG, Wash. – The procession began in downtown Ellensburg shortly before 12:30 p.m.
It seemed most of the Kittitas Valley were down here to pay their respects.
Thursday procession offered a chance for this community to come together as one to say thank you to Deputy Ryan Thompson for his sacrifice.
“Every day they strap that badge on, put their vest on, there’s always that possibility of never coming home,” said Mike Watts.
People lined the streets for blocks. Hundreds stood side by side, street to street, all to get a glimpse of the man who paid the ultimate price defending his community.
“He did a job well done and I’m thankful for what he did,” said Gerry Nagle who brought his own flag to the procession.
Many people placed hands over their hearts while others wiped away tears. For some, just the sight of the red and blue lights was enough to remind why being here was so important.
And it wasn’t just the adults waving flags, children of all ages also lined the streets. The loss of deputy Thompson had an impact with even the youngest in Ellensburg.
It’s a very sad day, it’s solemn day,” said Morgan Middle School Principal Michelle Bibich.
She said many of the school’s student body lined the procession as a showing of respect.
“A family lost a husband and father and son and brother, and our community has faced this loss,” said Bibich. “In a small community we have a tendency to believe it can’t happen here and it does, it hits everybody.”
The messages of honor and thank you kept coming as several bouquets of flowers were laid at the funeral home here where the procession began.
Read more about Deputy Thompson here.