Hundreds gather for ‘Blue Mass’ in Baton Rouge to honor fallen officers


BATON ROUGE (NBC Local 33) (FOX 44) — Hundreds gathered Sunday, mostly in blue, to honor the officers who left for work and never came home.

“It’s really about recognizing those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and those who gave their lives for all of us,” said district attorney Hillar Moore.

‘Blue Mass’ began a year after a gunman killed three officers. The message is still the same today. “This is because of the three people who lost their lives and they really were special people, some of the nicest people in the world that you would ever want to meet,” said Moore.

Tonja Garafola, widow of fallen EBR Deputy Brad Garafola, says the grief of losing her husband will never go away.

“You learn to cope with it on a day to day basis, hour to hour, second to second,” Garafola said. She also said through this fight, she has never felt.

“We never have and we never will,” she said.

“These families, they live this day in and day out, I’m not sure how they take this pain and this is some small part of us recognizing and respecting what they did and what they gave, we need more people like them,” Moore said.

Sunday’s message of kindness and unity were lessons that Garafola said her husband taught her family every day.

“He had so much left to teach our kids, but then I remember he is still teaching us, he is still walking through us, through his journey and showing us things through signs every day,” Garafola said.

The service ended with a prayer for all first responders, asking for God to bless them with strength and peace.

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