They gathered along the roadways between Ontario and Nyssa.
Some stood in family clusters. Others stood alone, sharing their grief with no one.
The death of Joseph “JJ” Johnson, a reserve corporal with the Nyssa Police Department, shook the people of Malheur County from border to border. He died April 15, 2023, shot to death while on duty, volunteering again to protect the city of Nyssa.
His memorial at Nyssa High School was preceded by a procession never seen before in Malheur County. Police and firefighters and medics rode in the procession, miles long.
They passed citizens standing out of respect.
Some held American flags. Others placed hats or hands over hearts.
Their faces reflected the solemnity of the moment.
And there was no less a show of respect at the ceremony as an overflow crowd packed into the Nyssa High School gymnasium. They watched the proceedings on a live feed. They, too, stood, hands to heart, eyes carrying the pain they felt.
Outside, children showed respect their own way. They went from officer to officer, politely asking for autographs.
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