Signs and flags line procession route as slain KSP Trooper will - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Signs and flags line procession route as slain KSP Trooper will be buried Friday

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Officers from as far away as Alaska and Louisiana paid their respects to slain Kentucky State Police trooper Joseph Ponder Thursday.

An overwhelming presence of officers is expected Friday at his funeral -- and along the route to the cemetery.

Trooper Joseph Ponder's funeral will start at 11 a.m. at Severns Valley Baptist Church, where the parking lot is expected to be full. Afterwards, the procession will begin to his final resting place.

From Elizabethtown to Radcliff, the sun shines down on flags lowered in honor of a hero.

"It's a sign of people's respect," Elizabethtown resident Tom Smith said.

Signs in front of businesses read "Thoughts and prayers Trooper Ponder" and "In loving memory of Trooper Ponder.”

"It's been overwhelming," said Kentucky State Police Lt. Jeremy Thompson.

The signs of reverence are along Dixie Blvd. in Hardin County. It’s the procession route Trooper Ponder will be carried on to the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery.

"We encourage them to come out either to the service or either be somewhere along the route to the cemetery and to make signs, hold a flag, to stand there with their heart over their chest," said Eric Johnson with Supporting Heroes.

"We look at it like it could be one of us tomorrow or tonight or whenever, said Officer Kevin Grimes with the Nicholasville, Ky., Police Department. "And so it’s as hard as if I knew him or if I didn't know him ... It’s still the same."

"Those people put their life on the line. I think it's a sign of respect ... People really, truly know that this young man with his family have given up a lot," Smith said.

But as the community and law enforcement mourn over a hero's life cut short, it's support from one another that keeps them going.

"It's just unfortunate that it has to be tragedy to bring us together like that. But when you see the outpouring of support from law enforcement, from the community here ... what it does is it helps people heal. It helps the family heal, it helps law enforcement and helps the community especially," Lt. Thompson said.

Trooper ponder will be buried at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Friday afternoon.

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