By Don Morgan and Bill O’Neil
The San Antonio Police Department pays a somber tribute to one of its own.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the state and country gathered at the church–many arriving as part of a large procession that left the Alamodome at around 8 AM. A horse drawn carriage carried Officer Moreno’s casket to the church’s entrance just before 10.
“I was motivated by him… my role model… my positive influence in my life” said Arturo Moreno, Miguel’s brother, who himself is a San Antonio Police Officer.
Arturo entered the academy two years after his brother joined the force, remembering Miguel’s days at the Academy.
“Miguel was exhausted, beat up, hungry… looked like he lost 50 pounds… but he never complained to me or anyone” Arturo said.
“In 201, I applied to the San Antonio Police Department, went through the eight grueling months just like my brother… graduated from the police academy… and I still remember Miguel’s huge smile–he was so proud of me” Arturo said.
Officer Miguel Moreno was remembered at Community Bible Church–just over a week after he was fatally wounded while trying to speak with two men near San Antonio College.
Officer Julio Cavazos was also shot during that incident. He was released from San Antonio Military Medical Center earlier this week.
“It is not enough to say that Officer Miguel Moreno was an everyday hero… A man so committed to serving and protecting the people of San Antonio that he gave his life for it at age 32” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.
“Words can’t match our emotions or the tragedy of Miguel’s death because what happened is senseless” Nirennberg said, adding “He put himself in harm’s way to protect you and to protect me… to protect our neighbors. We will forever be in his debt.
Others echoed the Mayor’s sentiments.
“An outstanding cop… A cop’s cop is gone” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said, noting the challenges his department has faced over the last several months.
“Detective Ben Marconi was assassinated less than one year ago during a traffic stop–and now, Officer Moreno” the Chief said.
The Chief also reiterated a message he has been spreading over the last week.
“Top those who have disdain… disdain for or would advocate violence against police officers… I have a message for you: there will never be a legitimate reason that would justify such a warped point of view” McManus said with his voice rising.
Exactly one year to the day after the massacre that killed five police officers in Downtown Dallas, Governor Greg Abbott joined those paying tribute to Officer Moreno.
“We honor his commitment to service… and we pray that we are worthy of his sacrifice” the Governor said, renewing a call of his own.
“Respect for our law enforcement officers must be restored in our nation” Abbott said, adding “No more will we tolerate disrespect for those who serve.”
Now, Officer Moreno’s brothers and sisters in blue are left to pick up the pieces–and move forward.
“I will never forget my brother–the City will never forget him–and his beautiful smile that was unforgettable” Officer Arturo Moreno said.