When little Tatum Raetz graduated kindergarten, she probably didn't expect to be surrounded by police officers.
Her father, Daryl Raetz, was a Phoenix police officer who died in the line of duty just a few days before her graduation. He was killed in a hit-and-run accident.
Because her father could not be there to watch her first school milestone, Phoenix Police decided to attend it and show their support.
They sent out a tweet about the graduation, but did not expect the turnout to be so large.
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Officer James Holmes said, "Tatum had 300, 400 parents up here for her this morning…it was absolutely amazing. It was bittersweet and it was a bit overwhelming for all of us."
"We tried to keep this small. We tried to keep this to Daryl's squad and his precinct. But the word got out that this was happening and it went viral within the department and there was absolutely no way that you could keep officers who could be here away from here. They came, even with their families."
Sara Garza, another police officer and family friend, said the occasion was made even better with everyone in attendance.
"Usually we come together as a police family in sad times, so for something like this to happen on such a happy occasion … this is wonderful. It's uplifting … we honor his memory but we're there and we celebrate and we're with his family. That's the most important thing we can do … we'll support his family forever, and this is just the first step," she said.