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On Dec. 27, I was honored to participate in the final farewell for a 35-year, decorated veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department, Lt. Kevin Holmes, a long-time Stafford County resident. Kevin was my neighbor and very special friend.
The Fairfax County Police Department had the formidable task of arranging escort for the procession that left Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Annandale, went past the final tribute at Mason District Police Station on Columbia Pike, and traveled the blocked HOV lanes and southbound Interstate 95 to Fredericksburg for graveside rites at Oak Hill Cemetery.
Faced with holiday traffic and threatening weather, Fairfax coordinated all assets necessary to control traffic and keep the massive funeral procession (including law enforcement from agencies and jurisdictions across the country) intact for 52 long miles.
It was amazing to watch the precision with which Fairfax police helicopters and motormen closed and reopened highway ramps to allow the procession to pass safely.
Impressive as that was, we were struck as we moved further south by a definite difference in the law enforcement officers manning the closed I-95 on-ramps. White-gloved, braced at attention, holding a perfect salute for the full length of the procession we realized we had passed into Stafford County!
We noted the same precise presentation from each Stafford deputy as we passed consecutive on-ramps and soon realized that even Stafford's auxiliary and volunteer deputies were helping with traffic control.
As we approached one of the last overpasses in Stafford County, we were soon to pass directly under Stafford deputies backed by patrol cars with lights flashing rendering the Stafford County Sheriff's Office impressive, final salute to a fallen brother.
Well done, Stafford, very well done--your professionalism is neither unnoticed nor unappreciated.