Thou­sands at­tend ser­vices for Ply­mouth of­fi­cer

North Penn Life - - NEWS - By Carl Rotenberg croten­berg@jour­nal­reg­is­ter. com

Sev­eral thou­sand po­lice of­fi­cers from as far away as Chicago and Maine gath­ered Wed­nes­day morn­ing to bear wit­ness to brav­ery un­der fire by at­tend­ing the Life Cel­e­bra­tion of Ply­mouth Po­lice lf­fi­cer Bradley Fox at bpiphany of lur Lord Church in Ply­mouth.

The five- year vet­eran K- 9 of­fi­cer was shot and killed last Thurs­day evening by a Lower Me­rion man who caused a hi­tand- run traf­fic ac­ci­dent, fled from the ac­ci­dent scene and later am­bushed Fox in an area near the Schyulkill River Trail.

More than 100 po­lice of­fiFHrs IrRP 3KLODGHOSKLD and an equal num­ber of Penn­syl­va­nia State Po­lice troop­ers at­tended the funeral Mass.

“,’YH sHHN RI­fiFHrs KHrH from Chicago and from Maine,” said Sam Gallen, the deputy chief of Mont­gomery County De­tec­tives. “I’m not at all sur­prised by that. It’s a tragedy.”

Lt. Ray bvers, the pub­lic LNIRrPDWLRN RI­fiFHr IRr WKH Philadel­phia po­lice, said his depart­ment “has been through this so many, many times. The heal­ing process is im­por­tant.”

The Life Cel­e­bra­tion be­gan with a hymn, “Be not Afraid.” In the park­ing lot next to the church where a large tele­vi­sion screen was po­si­tioned, sev­eral hun­dred po­lice of­fi­cers stood at parade rest dur­ing the cer­e­mony, which lasted for nearly two hours.

A read­ing from the Book of Wis­dom was read by “Aunt Chris­tine” be­fore a sec­ond hymn was sung by the church choir. A read­ing from the Book of Reve­la­tion was read by Melissa Fox, Bradley Fox’s sis­ter.

The sound of a baby cry­ing in the church marked the be­gin­ning of a read­ing from the Gospel of the Lord by Dea­con Michael Pas­carella.

“To all the po­lice of­fi­cers, emer­gency re­spon­ders, the peo­ple of Ply­mouth Meet­ing, the po­lice of­fi­cers from other ju­ris­dic­tions, fam­ily and friends,” said the cel­e­brant, Fa­ther bd­ward J. Hallinan, “thank you for your over­whelm­ing gen­eros­ity and sup­port. The fam­ily is eter­nally grate­ful for your acts of heal­ing.”

Hallinan spent three hours with the Fox fam­ily Satur­day gath­er­ing fam­ily mem­o­ries for his homily, he said.

“Brad ex­pe­ri­enced a lov­ing up­bring­ing. He gave his mother gray hair,” Hallinan said. “Lyn­say, Kathy and ev­ery­one here has per­mis­sion to cry to­day.”

He re­called Fox’s mar­riage to Lyn­say (Mat­tozziF Fox in 2008, WKH ELrWK RI WKHLr firsW child, Kadence, and his de­ci­sion to join the Ply­mouth po­lice depart­ment.

“)Rr 2IfiFHr )R[ WR EH am­bushed by a coward with a gun is not God’s will. A com­mand­ment says though shalt not kill,” he said. “God’s will is to be a ser­vant. Brad lived a life of peace, love and ser­vice. Brad is in God’s hands. He is at peace. Al­low this im­agery to pen­e­trate your soul.”

In the most touch­ing part of the cer­e­mony, Brit­tany Mat­tozzi, Lyn­say’s sis­ter, read a long and lov­ing let­ter writ­ten by Lyn­say to her de­ceased hus­band.

When he joined the Marines and de­ployed to Iraq IRr WKH firsW WLPH, )R[ DsKHG if she was com­mit­ted to him. They had not been dat­ing for a very long time, Lyn­say wrote.

“With­out any hes­i­ta­tion I was ready to be by your side,” she wrote. “bvery step of the way. I wrote [him] ev­ery day. I was afraid to watch the news.”

Fox was not known to be ro­man­tic, she wrote. He put a ring box on her leg one day and said, “So, want to marry me?” She said, “lf course.” When he wanted to ap­ply IRr D SROLFH RI­fiFHr’s MRE LN Ply­mouth, Lyn­say took care of the pa­per­work.

“You were so ex­cited and ner­vous,” she wrote. “I knew when you got the job how lucky they were.”

The cou­ple mar­ried in 2008 and Kadence was born April 13, 2012, Lyn­say wrote. Their sec­ond child is due in March 2013.

“You will al­ways be the rock of our house­hold. You have given me a home sur- rounded by lov­ing neigh­bors. Please know I am in good hands,” she con­cluded. “I love you more than I can tell you. You are a true hero. I love you Brad.”

Reghan Myr­si­ades, of Ply­mouth, came with her two broth­ers, CJ and Dean Myr­si­ades, to the funeral ser­vice.

“lur fa­ther is the deputy chief of po­lice in Ply­mouth, John Myr­si­ades,” Myr­si­ades said. “It is heart­break­ing. It is so sense­less. It should not have hap­pened.”

Myr­si­ades pointed out that not only po­lice from Ply­mouth had come for the funeral “but also po­lice from across the state have come to­gether.”

CJ Myr­si­ades, of Ply­mouth, said he was awed by the num­ber of po­lice who came to at­tend the funeral.

“As sad as ev­ery­thing is, it is amaz­ing to see the num­ber of peo­ple show­ing up for these [funeral] events,” CJ Myr­si­ades said. “The mo­tor­cy­cle pro­ces­sion and the num­ber of peo­ple who came to pay their re­spect. We were WKH firsW SHRSOH WR EH OHW LN for the view­ing Tues­day and there was still a line of peo­ple just wait­ing for the view­ing. That was just the pub­lic.”

Ply­mouth po­lice Chief Joseph Lawrence said “honor and com­mit­ment” were just a few of the words he would use to de­scribe Fox.

“We won’t get over this,” Lawrence said. “We will get through it. We will work through our grief to­gether.”

Lawrence con­cluded with the sim­ple heart­felt sen­ti­ment, “It is an honor to say I knew Brad Fox.”

Photo by GENE WALSH

Lines of po­lice salute as the cas­ket of fallen Ply­mouth Po­lice Of­fi­cer Bradley Fox leaves Epiphany of Our Lord Church in Ply­mouth Wed­nes­day.

Photo by GENE WALSH

A long line of po­lice es­cort the hearse car­ry­ing fallen Ply­mouth Po­lice Of­fi­cer Bradley Fox af­ter his funeral at Epiphany of Our Lord Church in Ply­mouth Wed­nes­day.

Photo by TONY FIORIGLIO

The Amer­i­can flag hangs over the route of the funeral pro­ces­sion for Of­fi­cer Bradley Fox on Belvoir Road in front of the Ply­mouth Town­ship Po­lice Sta­tion.

Photo by GENE WALSH

A squad of Marines carry the cas­ket of fallen Ply­mouth Po­lice Of­fi­cer Bradley Fox from Epiphany of Our Lord Church in Ply­mouth Wed­nes­day.

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