NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For as far as the eye could see on Monday morning there was a steady line of Metro Nashville Police cruisers lining Old Hickory Boulevard, in a final fitting tribute to fallen Officer John Anderson.
They came from all corners of the state. In a somber, moving tribute to this 28-year-old who died in the line of duty on the 4th of July. The four year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department leaves behind an 18-month-old son, his parents and an entire department which was consumed in grief today.
"He was building a family that he loved so much, he spent every moment trying to make this crazy world a better place," Officer Anderson's young brother Jordan said at his funeral.
From the Governor of Tennessee, to the Mayor of Nashville, to the Chief of Police - dignitaries and strangers all felt compelled to say goodbye to Officer Anderson who first started saving lives when he was in 8th grade at Boy Scout camp when a fellow scout nearly drowned.
Anderson was killed in a fiery crash on July 4 after police say his patrol car was hit by a teen driver, who was fleeing from an officer in a separate incident.
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Governor Bill Lee was among the speakers, as was Mayor David Briley and Police Chief Steve Anderson. Billy Ray Cyrus also sang "Some Gave All."
Following the service, Officer Anderson’s remains were escorted back to Spring Hill Funeral Home via Old Hickory Boulevard to Gallatin Pike, turn right on Gallatin Pike, and then to the funeral home.
Katelyn Smith, Anderson's girlfriend released the following statement after his death:
Understandably, we're all deeply grieving. John was one of the best people I've ever known. I truly could never say enough about John's character. He was an amazing father to his son, Gavin, and to my son, Liam, who he took care of as his own. He was an incredibly loving partner to me, and we were making plans for the future with such excitement about what was in store for us. I'm devastated that a senseless act has taken that all away.
Earlier Monday, Police Chief Steve Anderson presented Anderson's family with the Medal of Valor, the department's highest honor.