The following guest essay written by the parents of Trooper Andrew J. Sperr, who was killed in the line of duty on March 1, was published in the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper of Rochester on March 17, 2006 in the "Speaking Out" section. We would like to share the letter with you.
March 17, 2006 Trooper Andrew Sperr’s family thanks community
By Andrew and Jean Sperr
On behalf of the entire family of New York State Trooper Andrew "AJ" Sperr, we want to express our heartfelt thank-you for the outpouring of love, prayers and respect for our son and brother. Words cannot adequately describe the overwhelming support that the Sperr family has received. More than 3,000 people came to pay their respects despite having to wait up to three hours in line. Flags were flown at half staff, roadside memorials were erected, sympathy cards were sent, donations were made to various charities, memorial Masses were said, trees were planted, letters to the editor were written, people saluted as the funeral procession passed their homes and one woman even used her food stamps to provide a donation to the local food shelf in his memory. We would like especially to thank the thousands of law enforcement personnel from the United States and Canada who attended and paid their respects to him for his heroic efforts in the line of duty. The bagpipes, honor guard, 21-gun salute, "Taps," helicopter flyover and, most importantly, the many professionals who put their lives on the line every day standing at attention were the perfect final tribute. They made us forever a part of their family. We would also like to thank relatives, friends and neighbors from Straub Road, Caton, Big Flats, Elmira, Horseheads and Dayton, Ohio, for the outpouring of emotional support. The list continues and is extremely lengthy: donations of food from Wegmans, Tops and the Rochester community; Kinko’s employees who assisted in providing posters in his honor by working overtime; the principal of St. Lawrence School who shut down for the day, and the children’s and adult choirs who participated in the Mass; the media, for their professional coverage of the news and AJ’s short but vibrant life, and also for their respect of the family’s need for privacy to mourn our loss. To try to name all those who helped us through these trying times is beyond our ability. We continue to celebrate AJ’s life with the birth of a grandson, Andrew Joseph "AJ" Krotz on March 8. As AJ often said to us on parting, "I love you. Keep safe."
The Sperrs are the parents of Trooper Andrew J Sperr, who was killed in the line of duty while confronting suspected bank robbers March 1.