MYFOXHOUSTON - They believe what happens to one effects all who wear the badge, and so they came by the thousands.They came to honor an ordinary cop whose life was cut short in an extraordinary way.
A good man. An even better husband and father, inexplicably ambushed for no reason other than the job he did and the uniform he wore.
For Deputy Darren Goforth's devastated wife, grieving son and heartbroken daughter this gathering carried with it, a promise.
"I want to tell you sister that your son and your daughter just inherited about 4,000 surrogate parents to help you. You are not going to walk alone," said Lt. Shannon Bowdoin of the Harris County Sheriff's Department.
For the many who never knew Goforth, there were the words of life-long friend and fellow law officer Roland De Los Santos who with poignancy and humor offered a portrait of a man both humble and hardworking, who dreamed of little more than protecting others and providing for the daughter and son he held dear.
"They had purchased Captain America shirts for Darren's son Ryan and Darren to wear together and they never got to wear the shirts. But today Ryan has on his Captain America shirt and underneath his uniform so does Darren," said De Los Santos, a Lt. with the Houston Police Department.
For the thousands in blue who traveled from all over Texas to pay silent homage, there were powerful words of faith and reassurance that their mission is a righteous one.
"These men and women in blue stand for what is right, stand for what is good and they will deliver us from evil," said Dr. Ed Young, Pastor of Second Baptist Church.
Evil which divides, incites and tears a people, once united, apart.
"We are a broken nation, but I believe with the help of the Lord Jesus Christ we are going to heal our land," said Bowdoin.
30-year-old Shannon Miles is accused of shooting Goforth 15 times in the back as he pumped gas.
Miles is charged with Capitol Murder.
An estimated 11,000 people attended the service.