Saint John the Baptist Catholic church was packed as more than 2,500 of Chad Peery's friends, family and fellow law enforcement officers said ‘goodbye' and celebrated his life.
Peery was killed last week after the tragic car accident. Saturday was a final salute to Peery, whose life captivated Oklahoma.
"The word hero is sometimes wasted and sometimes not used enough. After 33 years in law enforcement, I placed Chad Peery at the top of my hero pedestal," said Oklahoma City Police Chief William Citty. "He showed me strength I've never seen before and reminded me why I'm proud to be a police officer."
4/15/2013 Related Story: Accident Report Released In Crash That Killed OKC Police Officer
Peery was partially paralyzed in an attack outside a bar two years ago, but he fought back and has been called a hero by so many. His brother remembered Peery's smile always lighting up the room as he recalled memories from their childhood.
"I didn't think it was possible, but that smile grew even bigger when he was blessed with his four beautiful children. They were his life and they were his motivation in his darkest hours."
4/15/2013 Related Story: Family, Friends Remember Officer Chad Peery Who Died Following Crash
It was in those times, his family said, that Peery took everything the world had to throw at him and still kept giving back and never took a moment for granted.
"Surround yourself with those that you can call on in times of need. Mend petty feuds. Make that phone call that you've been putting off. Give that person a hug when parting. Never hesitate to tell a person that you love them, because as we're reminded today, tomorrow is not a guarantee."
For more information on the Chad Peery Foundation, which was established to help first-responders who suffer spinal injuries, go to www.chadpeeryfoundation.com
2/15/2012 Related Story: One Year After Attack, Peery Shows Remarkable Recovery