Thousands hold flags along funeral procession route

Posted at 8:18 PM, Sep 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-07 00:11:08-04

DRAPER, Utah -- Thousands of people carrying thousands of American flags lined 12300 South in Draper Friday afternoon during Sgt. Derek Johnson's funeral procession.

Community members, residents near and far, even students took time out of their day to honor the fallen sergeant and pay their respects.

"I hope that they just know how much we all love them and appreciate the sacrifice they made," said Shari Humphrey, Sandy resident. " They shouldn't have had to make it but just that they know how much we love and appreciate them."

Showing their love was all 825 students from Juan Diego Catholic High School. Students say Sgt. Johnson was a familiar face, having attended the school's football games and dances.

"It's powerful to see this many people line up the main street of Draper and honor this man. He did something great for our city and we're honoring him for that," Student Body President Dominic Colosimo said.

Students say lining 12300 South with flags was a small thing they all could do to give back.

"I think we'll have a new level of respect for the Draper police force and also we'll have a deeper understanding of how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken away," Colosimo said.

What these Juan Diego students saw and felt Friday is not something they'll soon forget.

"I think very few of these kids have any memory of 9/11 where we had that kind of experience before. I think it's a good experience for them to realize that we need the police department and they're here for us and we need to be there for them," said Molly Dumas, Advancement Director at Juan Diego Catholic High School.

The funeral procession lasted for several hours.

Related: Family, community honor fallen Draper officer