CANONSBURG (KDKA) – A large crowd gathered in Canonsburg for Officer Scott Bashioum‘s funeral procession.
Bashioum, a 52-year-old husband and father of four, was ambushed last Thursday while answering a domestic call.
The mayor of Canonsburg asked all who could to line the streets for the procession as a sign of respect.
As the procession passed through Canonsburg, residents waved American flags and held signs to show their support. Many shed tears as they honored Officer Bashioum.
People stood as many as four deep to pay their last respects.
It took the funeral procession more than an hour to make its way up Pike Street in the heart of Canonsburg.
“Scotty was our neighbor, a very nice man,” said one woman. “We came out here to show our support today. My husband and my son went to the funeral home, and myself, my daughters and some other family came to show our support for him and his family.”
“These are like family to me, all of them,” another woman said. “I’ve known all of these police officers.”
The funeral cars and units from more than 300 police organizations all went under the arch formed by two firetrucks. The American flag hung high with the thin blue line flag hanging below. That flag symbolizes respect for a fallen officer.
“We have folks that protect us and keep us safe every day. Unfortunately, it takes something like this to remind us of that sometimes,” one man in the crowd said.
The procession included a total of 340 police units, 17 motorcycles and 795 officers from across the country, including Maryland, West Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Ohio and New York City.
“My son is a police officer, Donegal. It’s going to be very hard and everything,” said one woman. “I was just thinking about his kids and his wife because they are wonderful people.”
A billboard high above the growing makeshift memorial created by the community also had an emotional goodbye message. It read, “Scott L. Bashioum… End of Watch: 11/10/2016.”
- PHOTO GALLERY: Fallen Canonsburg Officer Laid To Rest
In addition to hundreds of community members, hundreds more police officers from all around the country came to Canonsburg on Wednesday for show support and pay their final respects.
With lights flashing and decals from more than 340 police and fire departments represented, they lined up to take Officer Bashioum to his final resting place.
“That’s one of our brothers, and he gave the ultimate sacrifice for all of us,” said Officer Shawn McKinn, of the Aspinwall Police Department.
More than 800 members in the law enforcement community rallied in Washington County to honor a man few knew but all shared a bond with.
“It’s very hard,” said Officer McKinn. “I mean, it’s good to see your other officers support those who were killed in the line of duty, but unfortunate. That’s not the way we want to run into each other.”
Small towns with a handful of officers to big cities with legions of police were all represented.
“It’s a show of respect. A small town, when they get hit with something like this, it’s never happened before. It’s a train wreck for them. A lot of people have never seen anything like this before,” Border Patrol Officer Christopher Michaloski said.
The top law enforcement official in Washington County is District attorney Gene Vittone. He was a friend of Officer Bashioum. The spectacle of an officer’s funeral has a tragic pageantry that is something to behold, if not for its underling purpose.
“My prayers before the service were that I never have to see another one of these,” Vittone said. “And we’ll certainly do whatever we can to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
One officer put it best when he said, “When one officer is down, we all feel the pain. We are a brotherhood, a sisterhood.”
After the ceremony at the cemetery, an event to celebrate Officer Bashioum’s life was held at the Washington County Fairgrounds.