After stepping away from the podium, Pence stepped off the stage and knelt down before Bradway’s widow, handing her a ceremonial state flag before embracing her and her children.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said his city will long mourn Bradway’s death.
“Most people go their whole life wondering whether they made a difference,” Ballard said. “Police officers don’t have that problem. Once the training is complete and the uniform is on, they have made that difference by standing up for a civil society, pledging to defend all of us against those who want to harm that civil society.”
It wasn’t all tears at the service. Thompson, mayor of Nappanee for 18 years, talked about Bradway’s younger days as a star athlete on a high school football team that often faced much bigger rivals. He spoke of Bradway’s fearless spirit, and told a story of Bradway kicking a 50-yard field goal with moments to go in the game.
And he told of a Nappanee police officer who was killed in the line of duty when Bradway was just a teenager, under circumstances similar to Bradway’s death. That officer’s partner was also later killed in the line of duty.
“Please remember, Rod’s spirit rides with you every day as you protect us from this madness,” Thompson told Bradley’s comrades. “May the very thought of Rod Bradway’s spirit return you home safely every day.”
Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana.