The sound of bagpipes filled Franconia State Park as the body of Corporal Bruce McKay slowly made its way to the base of Cannon Mountain. The officer planned to get married there this summer. The flag-draped casket was flanked by police officers in full dress as about 2000 mourners gathered to say goodbye.
"Cannon Mountain stands guard over this town much like Bruce McKay watched over and protected Franconia," said Governor John Lynch.
Corporal McKay was a police officer for 12 years-- first in Haverhill then Franconia. The 48-year-old was killed last Friday after a traffic stop.
"We must never forget his sacrifice. He was senselessly murdered for simply doing his job as a police officer," said Attorney General Kelly Ayotte.
McKay was shot four times and then run over by Liko Kenney-- the cousin of skiing star Bode Miller. Franconia residents have said that McKay and Kenney had years of tension between them fueled, some say, by the officer's aggressive policing.
But those honoring the police office Thursday had nothing but kind words.
"Bruce was a very dedicated officer. Professional prosecutor for the department. Dedicated to the job. Always keeping up with what is going on. And making sure the rest of the boy know what they need to know," said Franconia Police Chief Mark Montimy.
McKay leaves behind a 9-year-old daughter. A young girl trying to make sense of a tragedy that took the life of her father and policeman killed in the line of duty. Courtney McKay tried to tell the audience about her dad, but it was too much.
"You know my dad as Franconia officer Bruce McKay or 44-K, but my Dad was so much more than that. I can't do this..." said Courtney tearfully as she walked away from the microphone.
A 21-gun salute was immediately followed by the playing of taps. It was a stark sound in a town known for tourists and good times.
"Everybody thinks that nothing can happen in this small town. And the fact is it can happen anywhere and unfortunately, it has happened here," Montimy said.
The unfortunate reality caused by a life cut short.
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