WASHINGTON, D.C. — Flashing police lights lit up the outside of Hector Airport as Fargo officers welcomed the Grand Forks Police Department, and the family of officer Cody Holte.
"It's a good way to remember Cody and what he stood for," said Grand Forks police corporal Casey Black.
He is one of nearly three-dozen members of GFPD and the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office to make the 1,500 mile trip to Washington, D.C, along with a dozen members of Officer Holte's family.
"I think it's going to be good to stand together, we were all close with Cody, we are all going to experience the same thing, we are going to bond, I'll never lose that bond with these guys," said Black.
The entire trip for the officers and family was paid for by $100,000 in donations from the community. The local fraternal order of police raised $75,000 by selling replica diecast cars of Officer Holte's squad, along with a commemorative coin. Mac Construction raised $17,000 through a golf tournament.
"It shows where we work, we have support to work, it's great to feel it because it shows it's worth it," said Black.
Chief Mark Nelson said this trip is an important last step in the healing process for his department.
This was his response when asked what it will be like to see one of his officer's names engraved with more than 21,000 names on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
"It makes me proud about the caliber of officers that I had that were there. While everyone ran from the gunfire, my officers ran into the gunfire to do what they needed to do. Not only (to) protect their fellow officers, but the citizens that also lived in the apartment that day, and unfortunately Cody paid the ultimate price for doing his job," said Nelson.
As the officers and family arrived in Washington D.C., they were greeted by their fellow brothers and sisters from the blue line.
The Holte family received a police escort to their hotel for the next few days, as the country will honor officer Holte, and the more than 400 other officers killed in the line of duty over the past two years.
"Not only are we able to recognize the heroic actions of Cody on that day, but now his name will be etched in perpetuity on a monument that is visited by hundreds of thousands people every year in our nations capitol, and puts him in the national spotlight where he belongs," said Nelson.