Officers moved to tears by powerful community tribute - KPTV - FOX 12

Police moved to tears by powerful tribute for fallen officer Robert Libke

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Several police officers were moved to tears by a powerful tribute to honor the life of Oregon City Reserve Police Officer Robert Libke at the high school's football game on Friday night.

Libke was killed in the line of duty on Sunday. Libke volunteered as the officer on guard for most of Oregon City's home football games.

Hundreds packed the stands of the high school's stadium and watched as dozens of Patriot Guard members on motorcycles circled the track waving American flags, followed by Libke's fellow officers in their patrol cars.

"I had the chills, I mean it was beautiful," Oregon City resident Lori Walton said.

"We lost one of our heroes, and we as veterans honor police and emergency responders whenever something happens to them," Patriot Guard member Bill Roberts said.

After a moment of silence, 487 blue balloons were passed out to each officer standing on the 50-yard line.

"They represent every officer in Clackamas County, who are putting their life on the line today," organizer Michele Stroh said.

Then, as they looked up at the skies above, the officers let the balloons go all at once. A sight so powerful, it silenced the crowd.

"It was pretty incredible, I mean where those balloons land, someone who doesn't know about what we did may find it and be touched by it," said Robert Libke's friend Joseph Rachel.

"I don't even know him, but my heart breaks for him, and his family, it's just so sad," said Walton.

Then, standing out in a sea of blue, a white balloon emerged above the rest.

"We've got a white balloon for Officer Libke, it's a symbol of him going to the light," said Stroh.

A goodbye, organizers say, to a dear friend.

"This was such a loss for our community, he spent so much time volunteering for our football program, this is how we honor him and the ultimate sacrifice," said Stroh.

The Lithia Subaru in Oregon City donated $250 to the Officer Robert Libke Fund for every touchdown the Oregon City Pioneers made at Friday's football game.

Organizers say that money combined with all of the donations they took from the crowd Friday night helped to raise $3,200 dollars for Libke's family that he leaves behind.

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