Funeral held for CHP officer Kenyon Youngstrom


September 14, 2012 5:30:39 AM PDT
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from all over the country helped celebrate the life of California Highway Patrol Officer Kenyon Youngstrom Thursday. After a two hour service in Vacaville, Youngstrom was laid to rest in Dixon, in Solano County.

A giant American flag hung over the entrance to the church parking lot and officer Youngstrom's flag-draped casket moved slowly down the aisle as a sea of law enforcement and first responders from across the state and nation looked on.

There were also friends from Youngstrom's pre-CHP life like Roderick Cipriano and Dawnelle Butler who worked with him at the Lafayette post office 15 years ago.

"It just broke my heart, could not believe it; he was so young," they said. "He was a really good person, so we miss him."

CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow spoke directly to Youngstrom's children.

"Alex, Madison, Andrew, Kennedy, your father loved you, adored you, and I want you to always remember and be proud of who your father was," he said.

Youngstrom's teenage son Alex was poised beyond his years.

"He taught me a lot about being a man and about forgiveness," Alex said.

Youngstrom was working with Officer Tyler Carlton the day he was killed, on the same beat but in separate cars. It was Carlton who shot and killed the gunman just after Youngstrom was shot.

"I often have thoughts that creep into my mind of why or what if or could've but then I keep reminding myself that everything does happen for a reason," Carlton said.

Youngstrom's casket left with thousands of fellow officers lining the route and saluting.

"Ken, I know you can hear me; I want you to know from the bottom of my heart thank you for always being there for me and I look forward to seeing you again brother," Carlton said.

It was an impressive procession, spanning 50 miles and several Bay Area freeways. People lined streets and overpasses to pay their respects.

Marina Ramirez was along the route, paying her respects with her daughter.

"Life is precious; every day we never know if we will have another day, or come home to our family," she said.

A truth made more likely for those who swear to serve and protect.

"Let us pay tribute to his memory and thank him for his years of service and the life he has offered to those who received his organs," Ida Bruce said.

All those thoughts and wishes for a man none of these people ever met. But certainly, they know his someone like him.

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