Mourners have gathered for the funeral of a Virginia state trooper who died in the fatal crash of a helicopter that had been monitoring a violent, white nationalist protest in Charlottesville.
Police officers from around the country honored Lt. Jay Cullen on Saturday at Southside Church of the Nazarene near Richmond.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called Cullen, who frequently piloted the governor around the state in a police helicopter, a ‘silent giant.’
In an emotional moment, he presented the falled officer’s flag to his cancer surivivor widow and two sons.
The scenes played out on Saturday as President Trump appealed for the country to unite after a week of bitter recriminations over his response to the violence in Charlottesville that saw Heather Heyer killed in a car attack by white supremacist James Field.
Bereaved: Gov. Terry McAuliffe hands Karen Cullen, the widow of Lt. Jay Cullen who was killed when his police helicopter crashed in Charlottesville last weekend
As 40,000 antifascist protesters gathered in Boston, The President tweeted: ‘Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!’
‘I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!’
Authorities say Cullen was the pilot of a helicopter providing video to police of activities in downtown Charlottesville last Saturday before it broke off to lend support to a motorcade for the governor. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.
A Virginia State Police honor guard carry Lt. Jay Cullen’s remains to the hearse after his service at Southside Church of the Nazarene in Chesterfield, Va.