April 9, 2009
Police Officers Paul J. Sciullo II, Eric Kelly, and Stephen Mayhle
I just happen to be in Pittsburgh. And I just happened to bike by mile after mile of police cars from around the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the nation. I asked an officer where the service was and decided to pay my respects to officers Paul J. Sciullo II [pronounced Shullo], Eric Kelly, and Stephen Mayhle.
The service was in the U Pittsburgh basketball arena. It's been seven years since I've been at a police funeral. I don't miss them at all. I sat and stood with other police officers.
I felt I got there late, since I hadn't really planned on being there at all. But it was still hours before everybody finished filing in. Everybody is standing. Last came the Pittsburgh police. And then came the fife and drum brigades.
I've been to a half dozen or so police funerals. When I walked into the arena I didn't even know the officers' names. This won't be a big deal, I thought. But I'll be damned if I can stay dry-eyed as bagpipes play and I salute the coffins as they pass below.
There were four different bagpipe troupes, one for each officer plus the NYPD (damn the NYPD has a lot of officers who can play the pipes). The first was Pittsburgh. The second was Cleveland. I missed where the third was from.
I left at around 3:15pm as the mayor was saying things that mayors do. I had paid my respects... and there was still time to see the Warhol Museum before it closed at 5pm.
I didn't bring my camera on this trip. But I asked a stranger on the street to email me some pictures she was taking of police cars on Forbes Street. Hopefully she will.
Rest in Peace.
Coverage in the Post-Gazette (photo above by Steve Mellon).
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has excellent photo coverage.