Dallas Rallies Around Officers, Families at Candlelight Vigil

By Ron Nickel   •   July 12, 2016

girl sits on man's shoulders
An officer and his family share a moment in the wake of a heartbreaking shooting that has rocked the Dallas, Texas, community.
Chaplains circled up to pray with a few officers at the conclusion of the July 11 candlelight vigil. “We linked hands, but we told them to touch feet because in the Bible it says in Isaiah and also in Romans, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News.' And these officers do bring good news when they show up because people call the police in times of trouble, and it’s good news when you see an officer come assist you in any way possible.”
Chaplain with police officials
Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team offered emotional and spiritual care to the many police officers who attended the candlelight vigil on Monday night in downtown Dallas.
Man with violin
“What have I to dread? What have I to fear?” This man poured out the timeless hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” from the strings of his violin.
Chaplains with police
“We don’t always get a chance to address the ones in blue, the first responders, because they’re always in the action, so this was a real privilege to be able to be a part of something like this,” said chaplain Mike Mattingly, pictured center.
Dallas police chief
Dallas Police Chief David Brown quoted the opening sequence of Superman, telling the crowd of more than 1,000 people that police officers—particularly the five who recently lost their lives—are like superheroes. “Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look, it’s a train. It’s a plane. No, it’s Patrick Zamarripa. Look, it’s Brent Thompson. Look, it’s Michael Krol. Look, it’s Lorne Ahrens. Look, it’s Michael Smith. Godspeed. God bless you. God bless the Dallas Police Department.”
father and daughter hug
This little girl ran across the Dallas City Hall Plaza and hugged her daddy tightly.
crowd at prayer vigil
“We’re still in a little bit of a state of shock,” said Maj. Melissa McGee of the Dallas Police Department. “The support we have seen from everyone in our community within Dallas, outside of Dallas, other states coming in—it’s been helping us get through this. Without that, we couldn’t get through this. It’s just been incredible, and I’m humbled and overwhelmed by all the support I’ve seen.”
vigil program
Though their watch ended July 7, 2016, the heartfelt messages shared Monday night made it clear the fallen officers will not be forgotten by their peers.
group praying
Chaplain Paul Dowdy prays with two women at Monday's vigil.
Chaplain with police officers
Chaplain Sue Dowdy shares a lighthearted moment with officers.
woman crying
Many tears were shed as people listened to officers share memories of their fallen brothers.
police officer leans on shoulder
"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).
men holding candles
It was a beautiful sight as candles were lit across the plaza and held high in a moment of remembrance and solidarity.
officer with candle
Officers from various stations and departments held lit candles in remembrance of their fallen comrades in blue.
officer hugs chaplain
Hugs were shared by many after the group prayed. Across this officer's badge—and many others—is a black mourning band, worn when an officer is killed in the line of duty.