Thousands came to Worcester Thursday to pay their final respects to hero Worcester Police Officer Manny Familia. Officer Familia died last Friday after he jumped into Green Hill Pond to try and save 14-year-old Troy Love who also drowned. WBZ-TV's Anaridis Rodriguez has the story.
ANARIDIS RODRIGUEZ: Officer Manny Familia's funeral mass began almost an hour later than it was scheduled because of how many people turned out to pay their respects. It took a while for everyone to pour into St. John's Church, where, when his body arrived, the ceremony reflected the life of a man who was very much admired.
Officer Manny Familia's teenage son was one of the pallbearers as the coffin was brought into St. John's Church, a church overflowing with emotion over his heroic act.
FR. DIEGO BURTICA: Manny's life is not lost. And his sacrifice is not a waste. But we believe that in his heart, there was a call from God to serve others and to offer the best he had for them with no reservation.
ANARIDIS RODRIGUEZ: In eulogizing officer familiar, his family members were not surprised by his selfless act of heroism, and focused on the joy he brought to life.
ELVIN FAMILIA: Manny was different, one of a kind, dedicated to everything and anything he did. Regardless whether it was difficult or easy, you already knew that the smile was going to shine through. He was the light of our family with incredible passion, kindness, and a fierce personality that had no issue letting you know when you were wrong. According to him, he was always right.
ERIC FAMILIA: This is something that only Manny can do, put on a show. And I just want to say thank you and God rest his soul. Manny Familia, [SPEAKING SPANISH] familia.