CLINTON, Mo. -- "Today, the people who patrol the land, who confront danger, who defend the defenseless, are given an honored name: Police Officer," said Governor Eric Greitens as he addressed the crowd of police, friends and family this morning at the funeral for fallen officer Ryan Morton, killed in the line of duty Tuesday night.
"It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, really. It was just incredible," said Brandon Smith.
Morton, Smith said, was one of his closest friends since high school. Close enough that Morton was Smith's Best Man at his wedding.
"I feel that it was in God's plan to have him be my best man in my wedding," Smith said. "We had breakfast together at IHOP just a few short weeks ago, and that was the last time I saw him."
Smith said Morton died a hero, doing what he loved to do, which was to protect and serve. He said the outpouring of support was surreal.
"Just the amount of support from both sides of people that knew him and people that came all the way out here as strangers," Smith added. "Just the support in general was absolutely incredible."
He said losing his best man has been tough, but memories will continue to live on.
"I miss him. But I'm going to get through this by remembering the good times I was able to have with him."