Law enforcement from across the nation descended on Colorado Springs to pay their final respects.
It was standing room only at New Life Church as hundreds gathered to pay their last respects to the 46-year-old officer who heroically and tragically gave his life one week before.
The Swasey family enters the worship hall.
Rachel Swasey, children Elijah and Faith, and Officer Swasey's mother.
One by one, law enforcement dropped off a blue rose and saluted Officer Swasey.
"His courage and commitment are not confined to the darkness of the events last week," said UCCS Chancellor Pamela Shockley-Zalabak. "You are part of our mountain lion family, and we are honored and humbled to stand with you."
"Even though it hurts, you gave your life doing what was right," said nephew Stephen, while Kim Noveletsky spoke of how much she would miss her little brother. "I will be forever grateful for that time we spent together," she said.
"I am proud to say my name is Rachel Swasey. My husband gave me the immeasurably precious gift of his name."
Officer Swasey was given a 21-gun salute.
The American flag draped over Officer Swasey's casket was presented to his wife and children.
The sun begins to set as law enforcement and family file out of the church for a five-mile procession to Evergreen Cemetery. Thousands lined the streets to honor Officer Swasey.
End of Watch: November 27, 2015
12/4 3:25 p.m.: UCCS Officer Garrett Swasey End of Watch: November 27, 2015.
12/4 3:18 p.m.: Officer Swasey receives a 21-gun salute. Two officers fold the American flag and give it to Rachel Swasey.
12/4 2:50 p.m.: "It would be our loss to fail to say to you Rachel, thank you. You are a vital reason why Garrett was the man he is.
"Garret was a man of purpose. He took God's word seriously. If he were here, he would remind us that we need this [Bible] more now than ever.
"What he lived for shifted away from athletic success and fame and financial security, it shifted because living a life devoted to our Savior became his desire. All the things that made Garrett, Garret: he lived with other people in mind, caring deeply about their good. He was purposeful in serving others; he was purposeful, as we have heard, in his love and care and devotion for his wife.
"He was an engaged and present father with his children. He chose to create memories that would last a lifetime. In this way, he chose to reflect God.
[To Swasey's children] "Be strong and courageous, just like your dad."
Following these words by Kurt Aichele of Hope Chapel, where Officer Swasey was an elder, Aichele played "Amazing Grace" on the piano.
12/4 2:23 p.m.: "I am proud to say my name is Rachel Swasey. My husband gave me the immeasurably precious gift of his name.
"I have been more overwhelmed this week by love than by sadness. ... He left two words for this world, he chose these two words long before he died--they are his legacy. The first word he gave is 'Elijah,' meaning the Lord is God. [Elijah is Swasey's son's name]
"The second word my husband left is Faith, meaning an assurance of things unseen. [This is the name of Swasey's daughter]
"The love of my life gave his life without regret, to be sure that others would live.
"For my two children, for our extended family including our police family, for his friends and our church, Garrett has three words privately just for you. He can now say them over and over without tiring, with joy: 'I love you' I love you, I love you, I love you.' What more could there be to say? Blessed be the name of the Lord."-Rachel Swasey, Officer Swasey's wife
12/4 2:17 p.m.: "This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do...to bury my little brother.
"He had that famous grin, and would say, 'Guys, I'm no hero, I got the call and I answered it. It's as simple as that.'
"I will be forever grateful for that time we spend together, for that relationship we had that lasted into adulthood. I could not have asked for a better role model for my son than my brother.
"Most of all I'm going to miss my little brother, all the memories I have growing up that we shared and all the memories I was really looking forward to making in our future that we no longer get to have. Garrett i love you so much and I'm going to miss you."-Kim Noveletsky, Swasey's big sister
12/4 2:12 p.m.: "It was truly a Black Friday....I saw hundreds of thousands of people reaching out with kindness, love and compassion, that left me at a loss for words.
"You were far from perfect. I think you tried really hard, but that's OK, you just thought that we were worth it.
"My heart so hurt, to top it off, you had to go--just so you know--a national hero.
"I'm going to change that Friday from black to blue." -Stephen Swasey, Officer Swasey's nephew
12/4 2:10 p.m.: "He had a great sense of humor, and I'm going to try to bring that joy to all of you today by sharing some stories.
"Last Friday, he showed us that strength to his community. He was proud to be a police officer for the city of Colorado Springs, the campus of UCCS.
"He was a police officer and he was proud to wear that badge every day he came to work...he served and that's what he wanted to do. He did his best and he gave his all.
"He looks over and sees a fellow Colorado Springs officer who is down and needs help. We want to make sure that you're safe, that you get to go home, that your kids are safe, that where you live is safe. I don't ever want to take away our gratitude to the officers who responded that day.
"Garrett and I would always argue, we were so looking forwards to the upcoming game between the Patriots [Swasey was a huge fan] and the Broncos. I so want to rub it in his face that the Broncos won, but I never got that chance.
"I'm pretty sure God said, 'Welcome home, son. It's November 27, 2015, the day I expected you.'
"Rachel, Faith, Elijah, I want you to look around. This is your new family. Whether it be a deputy, a trooper, a marshal or an officer...this will be your family." -Larry Darnell, Swasey's UCCS shift partner and a friend for 25 years.
12/4 1:52 p.m.: "It's humbling to see so many law enforcement officers from around the country to honor Swasey and UCCS. ...The strength of what we believe is measured by how much we are willing to suffer.
"Last Friday, Swasey believed people were at risk because of an active shooter, and he acted on those beliefs. Garrett was a good man, and did not allow that evil to go unanswered.
"God first, family second and work somewhere after that. While he loved being a law enforcement officer, it didn't define him. He was very intelligent and a very competitive individual...he exhibited kindness, honesty and humility, and he would light up a room.
"Rachel, as you and your family continue to find the strength to begin to move forward with your lives, I want you to know you will always have a wonderful, devoted family in blue who will remember Garrett's ultimate sacrifice. Your husband, your father, your son is a man of honor and integrity, something you can proudly reflect on every day of your life."-UCCS Police Department Chief Brian McPike
12/4 1:45 p.m.: UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak says Swasey's courage and smile will never be forgotten.
"You are part of our mountain lion family and we are honored and humbled to stand with you. His courage and commitment to excellence are not confined to the darkness and the events of last week.
"[His] ability to work with students on the UCCS campus has created lasting impact that is difficult to measure. ... Garrett will always be one of the best of the UCCS mountain lions."
12/4 1:38 p.m.: Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers addresses the crowd.
"As we recover from the devastating events of last Friday, and ensure that our great city is not defined by the senseless acts that created that tragedy, but rather that it is defined our actions in response to that tragedy. In particular, to urge that our community be defined by the courage and dedication to duty exhibited by the first responders to the incident, who acted heroically and who saved lives through their actions.
"And that ladies and gentleman, is why I'm here today, to speak on behalf of the entire community as we honor and celebrate the life of Officer Garrett Swasey."
12/4 1:33 p.m. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper touts Swasey's courage, reliability and uniqueness as a human being and as an officer. He finishes addressing Swasey's children.
"Elijah and Faith, I can tell you from personal experience, I was between your ages when my father died. And I can tell you the times when I needed him most, he was there. I think you can count on him for that."
12/4 1:21 p.m. "A week ago, I never thought I'd be standing here.
"What we found when we knocked on the door...was a brave, courageous family. ... After I left there, I was struggling with, 'How do I honor Garrett and honor Rachel [Swasey's wife]?'
El Paso County Sheriff's Office Lt. Greg Maxwell addressed the congregation following a prayer by New Life Church Pastor Brady Boyd.
Maxwell shared a message from Rachel Swasey.
"I have to tell the police family and community that I know Garrett counted the cost ahead of time. He considered it when he dressed for work. He spoke to me about the risk of the job. His job was to run towards danger and mine was to run away with the kids.
"He was prepared spiritually to meet the Lord, having full confidence and salvation by Christ. There was no unfinished business at home. He told the kids he loved them and he showed it when we last spoke.
"He was completely at peace. Garrett spoke about his own mentality as a protector and a sheep dog."
"He's an example of what an officer should look like. Your husband, dad and son is a warrior. He is a true hero."
12/4 1:15 p.m.: One by one, officers drop off blue roses and salute Officer Swasey's casket.
12/4 1:05 p.m.
Officer Garrett Swasey's family follows behind his casket as bagpipes play. New Life Church is standing room only as hundreds gather for Swasey's funeral service.
Dec. 3, 2015: A funeral service for fallen UCCS Officer Garrett Swasey will take place Friday at 1 p.m., followed by a procession through Colorado Springs.
The funeral will take place at New Life Church located at 11025 Voyager Parkway in Colorado Springs. It is open to the public.
Following the funeral, there will be a procession from New Life Church to the cemetery. It is expected to take the following route:
Voyager Parkway south to Briargate Parkway to I-25 south. From I-25, the procession will go east on Austin Bluffs Parkway past UCCS to Union Boulevard. The procession will continue south on Union to the cemetery off of Fountain Boulevard. See attached PDF to view a map of the route.
Streets along the route will be closed, some for up to an hour and a half Friday afternoon. The closures will begin around 2:30, which is around the time the procession is expected to start.
If you are wanting to line the route, officers suggest standing by UCCS where Swasey worked. They say the best place may be along Austin Bluffs and Garden of the Gods.
"I would encourage people to be very respectful. Please stand in silence with your hand over your heart or whatever you think is appropriate. Bring your American flags, your Colorado flags, whatever you think is appropriate, but please show respect for our fallen officer," CSPD Lt. Scott Schwall said.
A service at the cemetery will be for the family only and will not be open to the public.
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