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Visitation held for Officer Seara Burton, flag presented to family

Ken Licklider was one of many who waited in line for more than three hours to get inside. He said he would have waited for three more just to see her one last time.

RICHMOND, Indiana — It's been about a week since Richmond Officer Seara Burton passed away. She fought for her life after getting shot in the line of duty Aug. 10. On Sunday, public tributes began to honor her service and sacrifice.  

Thousands of people gathered at Richmond City Hall to honor the life and legacy of Burton at her public viewing.

"It's been really hard. We were hoping and praying she would make it through, but she fought a good battle," said mourner Mary Lenz.

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Supporters who waited in line for visitation couldn't help feeling the heaviness of the moment.

"It's very emotional. Praying this community can get through this," said mourner Courtney Rhodabarger.

Many people, like Ken Licklider, waited in line for more than three hours to get inside, and he said he would have waited for three more just to see her one last time.

"This is something you don't ever want to do but you have to do. She put her life on the line for the people of Richmond and you have to honor that," said Licklider.

Licklider runs a school for K9 officers and Burton was one of his students. He remembers her being extremely skilled.

"She was amazing. She loved every minute of it. She gave 110% in everything she did. When she graduated in April, we knew there were going to be some great things coming from her " said Licklider.

Some of those who waited hours in line said they were overwhelmed with emotion when they got inside. 

"It was so somber in there. Just knowing what her family has sacrificed, what this whole Richmond Police Department has struggled through the last month is not anything compared to what all of us have gone through," said mourner Brandi Myers.

Burton's family displayed several personal items from special moments from her life around the rotunda in city hall. And, at the beginning of the viewing, officers presented Burton's family with a flag for her service. 

Two honor guards were positioned at the head and foot of her casket and remained with the fallen officer until the end of the public viewing.

"I hope we can get past this. It needs to stop happening. There's no sense in it. It's not fair. It's very frustrating." said Rhodabarger.

Residents believe Sunday's turnout shows just how much Burton meant to the community. They hope everyone who attended takes a little of her with them.

"She's going to be forever here with us, She's going to be forever here," said Lenz.

Burton has had an officer by her side the entire time since she was shot in August. This will continue until she is laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery on Monday.

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