Thousands of police officers paid their last respects to slain Weymouth police officer Sgt. Michael Chesna at his funeral yesterday in Weymouth.
The funeral for the 42- year old Army veteran was held at St. Mary’s Church in Hanover, where Chesna lived with his wife, Cindy, and daughter Olivia and son Jack. It was an emotional and moving service attended by Governor Charlie Baker and other lawmakers.
Sgt. Chesna was remembered as a loving husband, father, passionate Patriots fan and as a true hero, after having served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 187 10th Mountain Division. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
Police officers from across Massachusetts and the nation arrived by buses to a staging area near the Church about two hours before the 11 a.m. service.
From there the officers stood in formation in the hot sun as a show of respect. Mourners trickled into the church, while solemn music played outside on loud speakers. No media or members of the public were permitted inside the church.
Gary Martin drove up from East Providence Rhode Island to show his support to all Police saying, “They do such such a hard job and get a lot of criticism; people are quick to criticize when things go wrong, but they just need to feel supported.” Chesna, along with 77-year old Vera Adams, were killed Sunday morning. A suspect is charged with two counts of murder.
In delivering the eulogy, Weymouth police Captain Joseph Comperchio, Chesna’s brother-in-law, spoke of Chesna’s dream of becoming a police officer saying, “as I look into the crowd today, Mike has done just what he set out to do. He has helped countless people as a police officer and has impacted the lives of everyone who met him.” Comperchio read a letter Chesna’s wife had written to her late husband.“Mike, I would like to tell you that I love you more than anything in this world, you are my best friends and the best dad the kids could ever have.”
Pastor Christopher Hickey looked toward the family and tried to ease their sorrow, “prayer does not make life easy, but it can make the tough times easier. I hope the prayers of the church today will bring you, most especially Cindy and the family, some comfort.”
The entire church fell silent when the song “somewhere over the rainbow” was played following the remembrance.
Following the funeral mass, a procession lead Sgt. Chesna’s casket to Blue Hill Cemetery in Braintree for burial.