Families in Westerville, Ohio are showing their complete gratitude for police officers after the brutal killing of Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering earlier this week.

It’s amazing to see a community come together the way the Westerville community has. Look at all of those flowers, balloons, candles and signs. It means they love, respect and cherish the men and women who put their lives on the line.

Look at how many people showed up to pay their respects. THIS is what America is about.

Even other police departments wanted to send their well wishes during a troubling time.

They may be gone but they’re definitely not forgotten.

When we lose someone to a criminal THUG, it hurts EACH and EVERY one of us, even if we don’t live in that town.

When people rally together around those who lost so much, we’re reminded that freedom is never free.

The families also issued the following statement through Public Information Officer Christa Dickey:

“We’re very thankful for our family, friends and the Westerville community. We feel loved and blessed, and we are appreciative of the outpouring of support. We have seen and heard so much from people who have shared stories about how our men impacted their lives. They will be so greatly missed, not only by us, but by everyone they touched.

Our men were dedicated officers for certain, but we knew them as dedicated fathers and husbands. When they were home, they were home. They left work at work. We are so sad that Eric will not see his three daughters’ graduate from high school. We’re devastated Tony will not be able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding.

We want to thank the Westerville Division of Police, the Columbus Division of Police and all the police agencies in Central Ohio who have helped and supported us. We are thankful for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 9 and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. We know we’re not going to remember everyone right now, but we want to express our gratitude for the kindness and generosity we have been shown.

We are requesting our privacy to mourn our lost husbands and fathers. We need time to heal. We will be granting no interviews at this time.”

In lieu of flowers, the families of Officer Morelli and Officer Joering request that donations be made to Ohio Concerns of Police Survivors, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that operates as a peer support network for survivors whose loved ones have died in the line of duty, a statement by the Westerville Police Department said.

Thank you for your service, Officers Morelli and Joering.

UPDATE: 10:45 p.m. EST

This was just posted and we wanted to pay our respects to K9 Sam who was there during the Westerville shooting.

We know you miss your owner, Sam.