Three-hour-long procession honors fallen KSP Trooper - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Three-hour-long procession honors fallen KSP Trooper

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ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- So many people honored a fallen Kentucky State Police trooper Friday afternoon that it took nearly three hours for the procession to get from the church to the cemetery.

Trooper Joseph Ponder was remembered today.

Services for trooper Ponder ended a few hours ago at Severns Valley Baptist Church in E-Town. A lot of the people there today did not know Trooper Ponder in life -- but they do know that he died serving and protecting his community.

A hearse carrying the body of Kentucky State Police Trooper Joseph Ponder arrived just before noon. The fallen trooper was also a Navy veteran, so his casket was draped with the American flag as was escorted into the church by fellow officers.

"The response...nationwide...has just been absolutely overwhelming," said Sgt. Michael Webb of Kentucky State Police.

Trooper Ponder was from Rineyville, but the parking lot of Severns Valley Baptism Church in Elizabethtown was packed with police cruisers from Georgia, Ohio and across the country.

"We have folks as far as from Alaska, California," Sgt. Webb said.

They've traveled from hundreds -- even thousands -- of miles away to pay their respects to a man who has is being called a hero.

Trooper Ponder was shot and killed on Sunday after a traffic stop.

"I could not ever understand why a man would do that," said Sgt. Webb. I don't know what was in that person's mind to make that decision to do that...I don't know that we'll ever know."

Meanwhile, inside the church, thousands listened as Trooper Ponder was eulogized. And as the service ended, the hearse carrying his body passed under a giant American flag.

"We're just out here to offer our support...as are all these people here," said Clarence Perkins, who was in the crowd of supporters.

Clarence and Nancy Perkins didn't know Trooper Ponder, but they drove all the way from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, to pay their respects.

"I just think that it is the least that we can do," Nancy Perkins said. "Because, you know, they give so much for us in trying to protect us and it's just the least I could do."

Allan Tiffany, Ponder's step-father, spoke of Ponder's sacrifice and the support he leaves behind during Friday's service.

"When I look out here today, I know Cameron will never be alone," Tiffany said. "He always wanted to help ... wanted to be strong for his family."

KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer added during the service that Ponder's void will always be felt, both from his colleagues and his friends and family.

"Our world will never be the same," Brewer said. "He is a true hero, not because of how he died, but how he lived."

The procession that left the church lasted for more than an hour, and for the officers who are part of it or the people on the side of the road, it still doesn't matter that they didn't know Trooper Ponder in life.

"And it gets somewhat numb in times like this when you have someone die that you may not have necessarily known, but he is still a brother nonetheless," said Sgt. Webb. "And we all grieve...even if we didn't know him personally."

After the service,  law enforcement agencies from across Kentuckiana formed a motorcade procession to escort Trooper Ponder to his final resting place.

Related:

IMAGES: Thousands attend funeral for slain Ky. trooper Joseph Ponder

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