Fallen Holly Springs officer laid to rest, remembered as a hero

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — It was a hero’s goodbye for a fallen officer Monday, as the Holly Springs community bid a final farewell to Officer Joe Burson, killed in the line of duty last week.

Burson’s funeral was held at the First Baptist Church in Woodstock Monday afternoon, followed by a police escort as his body was taken to Rolling Hills Memory Gardens.

[RELATED: Holly Springs officer killed during traffic stop was ‘model officer,’ chief says]

Burson, 24, was killed late Wednesday night when he was dragged by the suspect’s car during a traffic stop. He had pulled over the suspect for speeding.

Anna Streeter was one of Burson’s lifelong friends. She called him a hero.

“Joe, there is so much I want to say to you. And there’s so much I want to thank you for. I could go on for days. It is time to say goodbye,” Streeter said. “You were so brave. You died doing what you loved. I couldn’t have asked for anything else.”

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She also read a letter from Burson’s wife, Marykate, to her late husband.

“Babe, you will forever be my always, my hero, my officer, my husband. Miss 235 won’t let you down. I love you,” Streeter read.

John Thomas Burson shared a love with music with his brother.

“Music was something that brought us together more than anything, other than God,” Burson said.

John Thomas plays the trumpet, and on Monday, played the song that he did for his brother’s wedding.

Love was a word Burson’s family has heard several times over the last few days. People throughout the Holly Springs community love Burson. And while his family is mourning, they know a brotherhood has their back.

“I thank you for giving Joe his dream job. I thank you for putting your lives on the line day-in and day-out for our protection. I thank you knowing you do that for Joe,” Streeter said.

Monday’s service featured a 21-gun salute and a helicopter flyover.

If you’d like to donate to Burson’s family, you can do so here.

[RELATED: Bandmates remember fallen Holly Springs officer as talented drummer, ‘brother’]