(Germantown, TN) Thursday, a fallen Nashville police officer came home to be buried with all the honor a fallen officer deserves.
Inside Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Germantown, every seat was filled. Hymns were sung and prayers said as a flag-draped casket sat in front.
"We will never, ever be the same again," said Monsignor Edwin Creary. "I wish to you, the family, my sincerest sympathy."
Friends and family remembered Michael Petrina for his big smile, gigantic heart and never-ending love. They said he would have made a difference in this world.
Petrina died while protecting his community. He was working an accident Saturday when a motorhome didn't move over and struck him.
He was only 25 years old.
"I salute you brother. You have earned your place amongst the guardian angels," said a fellow officer.
His family brought Petrina home to Germantown. They wanted to bury him close to where he grew up and where so many loved him.
Before joining Nashville's police force last fall, Petrina was in the Tennessee National Guard. He loved his country. He also worked with World War II veterans.
Both military personnel, fellow officers and even those who never met him joined the procession driving under an American flag attached to two fire truck ladders.
They passed quietly as students from a nearby school lined the sidewalk with their hands of their hearts honoring Petrina, a fallen officer.
The driver who struck Petrina has not been charged. The family told WREG they will look into it after the funeral.