Deputy 1st Class Mark Logsdon, who died after being shot in an Abindgon, Maryland shopping complex, was laid to rest Saturday afternoon following his funeral service at Harford Community College.
David Brian Evans, a 67-year-old homeless white male, had specifically targeted Deputy Logsdon and Harford County Sheriff’s Office Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey on Feb.10, killing them both.
Thousands filled the arena at Harford Community College to pay tribute to Logsdon, and hundreds — perhaps thousands — more lined the roadside and overpasses to watch the long motorcade with Logsdon’s flag-draped casket as it was escorted from the service to Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.
People held handwritten signs saying “Harford Strong” and “Blue Lives Matter.” Some, like Grayson Kempt, waved flags.
“We want to show our support for the men and women who protect our lives every day,” Kempt, of Parkville, said as he stood for three hours with his family on Providence Road overlooking Interstate 695, waiting for Logsdon’s funeral procession to pass below.
“We want to let the police know: We stand with them — not against them,” the 20-year-old said.
Mourners recalled Logsdon, 43, as a “mountain of man,” someone who was louder than anyone else in the room and prone to quoting the movie “Dumb and Dumber” at the most inappropriate times. He was a combat veteran of the Iraq War, an enthusiastic golfer and the soon-to-be grandfather to a baby girl due in April.
A Marylander who was perched on an overpass to watch the 20 mile+ funeral procession wrote a moving account of what he observed that day at Ace of Spades HQ, where he goes by the handle “Weirddave.”
A small army of State Troopers and Police Auxiliaries spanned out in front of the procession, closing roads and blocking the entrance ramps to I-95, the Baltimore beltway, and I-83. Traffic on the busiest highway in America was halted, and the road cleared out, awaiting the solemn cortege to come.
And then something remarkable happened.
All along the planned route, people out enjoying the unusually warm day naturally asked the troopers blocking the entrance ramps what was going on. When they were told, some went about their business, perhaps grumbling about the inconvenience, but others, many, many others, did not. Cars were parked on the shoulder or in adjacent lots. Flags were produced, children were cautioned not to be too rambunctious and lives were put on hold.
And the overpasses started filling with people. Down below, some cars hadn’t continued on their way as the road was closed behind them, but rather had pulled to the side while the people inside got out and stood at respectful attention in the breakdown lane. Oncoming traffic pulled over to the Jersey wall and drivers and passengers did the same. Central Maryland took a deep collective breath and started radiating an almost palpable wave of respect and gratitude.
On the overpasses, conversation was muted. People talked to each other in low voices about times cops had positively impacted their lives. Some men reminisced about their time in the service, either public or armed. Women quieted children. Some tears were spilled, and a few men were rigidly braced at full attention while others stood respectfully, hands crossed at the waist. Where I was, Harford Road over the beltway, Long Green FD had brought one of their trucks, lights flashing. Hats were removed, and American flags proudly held aloft. Below us, the procession continued.
On the beltway, the cars came in groups. Here were the lads from the Eastern Shore, weather-beaten men tasked with riding herd on rednecks and watermen. Now it’s Baltimore County, now it’s the city boys, their cars a little older than those sported by the more affluent counties, a little more banged up, but shined to the nines anyway. Those city boys are tough, you have to be tough to put on the uniform in the city that bleeds, a city that declared war on its police last year. They know we’re here, however, they know. You can see it in the way they sit erect in their seats, you can see it in the clenched fists in their laps. Once in a while one of them will briefly blow their siren in acknowledgment of our respect. They know.
Above, a few more police have arrived for crowd control, but there isn’t anything that’s out of control. I’ve seen rowdier crowds in church. Instead they make their way through the crowd, slowly, pausing to shake the hands of all the men and women gathered there. They tell us that the same thing is happening at every overpass on the funeral route. “Thank you” they say again and again, and to a man the crowd responds “No sir (No ma’am), thank YOU”.
Word quickly spreads through the crowd that the hearse has just passed Bel Air Rd., one exit up. People move towards the fence. Spines stiffen, and others snap to attention, myself among them. I never served in the armed forces, but I believe any Drill Sargent in the world would have been proud of me at that moment. Flanked by four motorcycle cops, Deputy Logsdon passed by on his way to Valhalla.
The crowd disperses as people go back to their lives, haven taken 35-40 minutes to recognize what truly matters in this world. You hear a lot about Baltimore in the news, most of it bad, and while there are parts of the city that are lawless and violent, don’t you dare tell me that the people of Baltimore don’t honor the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. Don’t you DARE tell me that.
You can read more of WeirdDave’s post plus view his photos, here.
This video of the funeral procession comes from the vantage point of one of the cars in the procession.