Countless mourners line procession route for fallen Westerville officers


The plaza in front of Westerville Police has been the gathering place all week for people who need someplace to bring their grief.

Friday it's where countless people stood all day in the cold to pay respects to Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli, two men who gave everything.

"Profound sadness just overwhelming me," said Sheila Gill. "My heart really hurts, both for the families and this community. These men loved this community. They loved Westerville and they loved their jobs. They weren't jobs to them, they were life calling."

"This is just such a peaceful community," said Jerry Gill. "And these officers know what they're going into when they go into a disturbance like that. It's very dangerous. They know that. And they went anyway."

"This is our children's home," said Mary Costanzo. "This is where they were born, and these are the people that were protecting us, and who we've grown to know and love over the years. And to have something like this- so tragic. It's just so tragic."

"I'm speechless. I'm moved to tears," said another mourner. "We have a young family, and I'm just so...I hurt for their families, I'm so grateful for what they do to support us and to protect us, and we just wanted to be here to support them. And to know that we appreciate all the officers so much, and we are just so deeply moved by the sacrifice by these officers."

"There's no way to describe my feelings right now," said Jamie Rains. "For those families that don't have a dad coming home, and don't have a husband to come home to. So that's where I'm at right now. And all, all of the families that have people who are out there to serve our cities, our states, our country and how they might feel right now because every time that they see their family member walk out that door to protect America and everybody here, they may never see them come back home."

"I'm so pleased to see that Westerville has had such an outpouring of love and support for the Westerville Police Department. so we're very proud to be living here," said Kari Veraas.

"I hope that brings some comfort to our officers- that this community really cares about them, and they matter. What they do matters to each of us," said Sheila Gill.