It has been a week since State Trooper Amanda Anna left on her final patrol. The six year veteran of the State Police, the mother of a four-year-old son, was killed when her SUV ran off County Route 37 in the Oswego County town of Hastings. The investigation of that fatal crash was put on hold for a time on Friday as the six year State Police veteran was laid to rest. YNN's Bill Carey has more on the tribute to the 31-year-old killed in the line of duty.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Before last weekend, most of us did not know Amanda Anna. We watched as more than a thousand of her colleagues in law enforcement from across the U.S. and Canada came to pay their respects. We saw a governor offer condolences. We heard a State Police Superintendent speak of a loss to his force and the people of New York.
“As police officers, we see more than our share of death. Sometimes there's an explanation for it. But more often there isn't. What you learn from seeing all of this is just how fragile life really is,” said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico.
But there was so much more to see and hear. So much more to the story of Amanda Anna.
“When you look at Amanda's program today for this funeral, it says she was born October 25, 1980 and that she died May 26, 2012. But there's a dash between that. And that dash is really the most important part of the line because that dash represents her very life,” said Dr. George Miller of North Syracuse Baptist Church.
It fell to family friends and colleagues from the State Police barracks at Hastings to fill in the considerable details that made up that life. Each had a story of determination. From her days as a student, as an athlete, as a young State Trooper, as a mother.
“We went outside after we finished the call. On the way back to the truck, I asked her, how do you think you did? She looked up at me and smiled and said, ‘I kicked ass,’" Trooper Jeff Cicora said.
One trooper's account went beyond a story of a friend or co-worker. Trooper Amanda Anna was due to marry Andy Lodge.
“Amanda had a word she used, more than any other word. It described her life, our life and what she was for everyone she touched. Amazing” Lodge said.
After all we had seen and heard, amazing seemed an understatement.
“Sometimes people would ask her what she did. She'd say I work for the State Police. And they'd say, oh, you’re a dispatcher? A secretary? How's that work? It's hard to believe such a beautiful, gracious, kind woman is a State Trooper. For those of you who did not know Amanda, let me assure you Amanda Anna was a State Trooper. She was a hell of a State Trooper. And she will be sorely missed,” Trooper Eric Osborne said.
We watched as Amanda Anna was honored as an officer killed in the line of duty. But we also shared in the story of her life, her love and her legacy.
A week ago, most of us did not know Amanda Anna. Now, we wish we had.
A fund has been set up in Trooper Anna's memory. Contributions can be sent to P.O. Box 485, Fair Haven, New York, 13064.