Law enforcement from across the country came to pay their final respects to Cleveland Police Officer Justin Maples on Thursday.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland says, "But wanted to be the first on the scene especially if it was to back up a brother or sister with a badge. That's what he was doing when he made the ultimate sacrifice."
Officer Maples left behind his wife and 3 children.
A 7 year veteran of the department, he was influential to the community.
"One doesn't become a hero just because they die.. They become a hero because of the they lived," says Cleveland Police Chief Wesley Snyder.
Maples was a member of the Cleveland Police department honor guard, President of the local Fraternal Order of Police, and was recently accepted into the Air National Guard to serve our country.
"To his fellow officers, Justin has set the standards for excellence, to protect and to serve," says Mayor Rowland.
A high standard of honor.
His wife, Danielle, receives an award for his bravery and dedication.
"I hereby award officer Justin Maples of the CPD the Bradley County Sheriff's Office purple heart award," says Bradley County Sheriff Jim Ruth.
Hearts are heavy on this somber day, celebrating the life of a Cleveland hero.
A message hard to explain to Maples 3 young boys.
"Jace, this Sunday, your daddy fell asleep," says Chief Snyder.
While, Maples may no longer be in our presence, Chief Snyder is certain where he will remain.
"Whenever you want to be close to your daddy, you just pull Jesus close to you in prayer," says Chief Snyder.
Maples children may be too young to remember this event, but his memory will last a lifetime in their hearts.
"He was our Superman."
Officer Justin Maples-- a hero, that will never be forgotten.