Westerville community holds memorial for fallen officers across the country


Three months ago today, a shattering tragedy hit Westerville when two of its own police officers were shot and killed.

Not only did the community honor Officer Eric Joering and Officer Anthony Morelli, but all men and women in blue.

Each balloon released into the sky at First Responder's Park Thursday night represented a police officer who has fallen this year.

"You never get over this. You move one, but you don't get over it," resident Anita Francis said.

People in Westerville understand what it's like after losing two of their own.

"It's different. It's not the same," Francis said.

At First Responder's Park, a memorial brought about 100 to show support to all first responders, just before National Police Week.

"It actually gives all of us a chance to reflect and honor our fallen officers as well as letting people know that we understand what it's like in those other communities, they're suffering the same way we are," organizer Kathy Cocuzzi said.

The memorial night falls on May 10, a planned day of kindness in Westerville.

"We appreciate the support that has been shown to us since that happened and it's just in a very good way overwhelming," Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said.

It's been a tough few months here, but 50 plus communities across the country feel it too.

On this night, Westerville supports them all.

Right now, communities are participating in "Light Central Ohio Blue."

Police are asking communities to shine a blue light to show support for law enforcement through May 16.