Thousands line streets for Sgt. Wilson processional
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Behind all the sirens, helicopters and motorcycles, the streets felt solemn and silent.
The thousands that gathered along the processional route stood quietly as the cars passed, waving flags and holding blue balloons for Sgt. Michael Wilson.
"It shows when someone is down, the family, we can show them respect," Voula Willette, who watched the processional, said.
The community also showed it can stand together. Couples, families, young children and even pets watched more than 500 law enforcement cars and motorcycles go by.
And most were strangers to Sgt. Wilson, like Deborah Loray.
"I just felt it in my heart I had to be here," Loray said.
That feeling was so strong Loray rode her bike to get there.
"I rode my bike all the way from Port Charlotte midway, I don't know exactly how many miles. I really want to cry, I just wanted to be here," Loray said.
Liz Chudoba and her husband Bill also rode their bikes today. Sgt. Wilson's wife is apart of their club, the Charlotte County Cyclists.
"They are super family," Liz Chudoba said.
The Chudoba's recall the first time they met Sgt. Wilson, getting ice cream after a group ride.
"Just a super guy, really family oriented. It just makes you sick to see stuff like this happen and how a family gets devastated, it effects the whole town," Bill Chudoba said.
The group rode 30 miles before the funeral in honor of the Wilson's. They also decorated their bikes for the processional with blue ribbons and flags.
The ribbons and flags were a common theme along the processional route. Blue ribbons were tied to trees and families held up flags. The Charlotte County Fire Department also hung a giant flag in the air between two trucks, making the beginning of the route and watching all that passed underneath it.
"It's just totally, very supportive and amazing," Loray said.