WASHINGTON, D.C. - Less than an arm's length away.
That's how close Grand Forks County Sheriff's Deputy Ron Nord was to Grand Forks police officer Coldy Holte as they hid for cover from a man on a mission to kill police.
Deputy Ron Nord was shot twice but survived.
Officer Holte did not.
Deputy Ron Nord said his first trip to Washington, D.C. for National Police Week was a trip he needed for closure.
"Don't know if it answers things, makes you feel really humble, obviously God is watching out for people and I was one of them," said Nord.
He had served more than 200 eviction notices in his career without a problem until that day.
"It was a bad day at work on May 27, 2020, and as I said earlier it could have been me," said Nord as tears dripped down his face.
A year and a half of emotions poured out as Deputy Nord etched a keepsake of Officer Holte's name from the memorial wall.
"Your etching a name on a piece of paper to either remember or help forget," said Nord.
He called it a breathtaking moment as he blew a kiss toward officer Holte's picture.
"In that flash, you put yourself in that moment, it could have been you on that wall, it makes life pretty precocious," said Nord.
As he shared private tears with Deputy Kelly McLean, who served the eviction notice with Nord that day, Nord vowed to carry out officer Holte's mission.
"I try and serve people, and they've showed their love and support, and then to have God bless you, leaving you on this earth to help others again," said Nord.
While Deputy Nord will always continue to help others, it won't be in a brown uniform much longer. He plans to hand in his badge at the end of the year after a 35-year year career.
"Time to be selfish. I want to enjoy the quality of life that I have with my wife and my kids," he said with tears in his eyes.
Nord, who is also a longtime high school football referee, is looking forward to getting his assignment for a playoff game this coming weekend.
He hopes to cross a lifelong bucket list item off his list this Fall, officiate one of the Dakota Bowl Games.