Seventeen-year-old Sierra Bradway had just one request on prom night. She wanted to take pictures at the cemetery where her father is buried to honor him, although he couldn’t be with her on that special day. But, little did she know who would be waiting for her when she arrived at the gravesite.
From the outside, it appeared that Sierra had it all when she headed out for her high school prom. Her royal blue floor-length dress was sparkling and elegant, her hair and makeup were done up beautifully, and her date was the picture of a gentleman. However, there was a dark cloud hanging over what otherwise should have been a perfect day for Sierra.
The teen was missing someone very special as she headed off to prom — her father, fallen police officer Rod Bradway. Without him there to tell her she looked lovely and to see her off, she felt as though the most important part of the entire event was taken from her. So, Sierra decided to go to him.
Instead of the normal prom pictures teenagers take in their parents’ backyard, on a staircase, or standing statuesque on the front porch, Sierra grabbed a photo of her late father and headed out to Indianapolis’s Crown Hill Cemetery with her date, Brock Spayd, to take her own pictures at her father’s gravesite.
What she found when she got there was totally unexpected and incredibly meaningful. It has since gone viral.
Little did Sierra know that her extended police family would be there too, waiting to greet her at the cemetery, offering love and support, while honoring their fallen colleague. As Sierra and Brock stepped out of their vehicle, a pleasant smile of surprise washed over Sierra’s face.
Two officers on horseback greeted the couple, while dozens of officers lined the walkway to Officer Bradway’s grave. It was Brock’s mother, a captain in the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, who coordinated the thoughtful effort. [Source: Liftable]
“There were a lot of laughs, some tears, but most importantly, there was love,” read the caption of a video posted by the Indianapolis Police. “Sierra, we know your father is smiling from heaven. Know that your Blue Line Family will always be here for you.”
Officer Bradway was shot and killed in 2013 while responding to a domestic abuse call inside of an apartment. When he arrived on the scene, he found a woman being held at gunpoint. Although he ultimately lost his life that night, he saved the lives of the woman and her child.
Bradway’s colleagues spoke glowingly of him. “Everybody on the department talked about how big of a family man he was,” said Mike Pruitt, who worked with Bradway at the fire department before he eventually became a police officer. “And how willing he was always to help people within and outside the department.”
— IMPD (@IMPDnews) May 6, 2017