A motorcade escorts David Vanbuskirk's body down the Las Vegas Strip on July 29, 2013. (Christian Cazares/FOX5)
The flag-draped coffin of Officer David Vanbuskirk is carried in the back of a police truck to the church where his funeral will be held on July 29, 2013.. (FOX5)
Officer David Vanbuskirk is seen in this undated official police portrait. (Source: LVMPD)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Fallen Las Vegas Metro Police Officer David Vanbuskirk was remembered Monday as a courageous man with a great sense of humor and a dedication to helping others.
Vanbuskirk, a 13-year veteran of the department, died July 22 during a rescue mission in the Mary Jane Falls area of Mt. Charleston.
The police motorcade, escorting the fallen officer, his family and members of his team, left Palm Mortuary on North Main Street about 9 a.m. As it moved along the Las Vegas Strip, casino marquees showed a photograph of Vanbuskirk.
The procession arrived at the church about 9:45 a.m. Officers lined the streets leading to the church, and many of them saluted as Vanbuskirk's coffin was carried into the church by an honor guard from the police department.
The funeral was held at Central Christian Church in Henderson, which holds about 2,900 people.
After a prayer that opened the service, Vanbuskirk's sergeant, Gavin Vesp, spoke about the person who he said it was a privilege to command.
"I want you all to know that every single day, when he came to work, he had a smile on his face," Vesp said. "He had the best attitude."
Las Vegas Metro Sheriff Doug Gillespie called Vanbuskirk a giant among men, saying he was driven by a sense of duty to others.
"Men like David restore the balance to life," Gillespie said. "They bring order to things. They give us faith that there is more good than bad in this world that we live in."
Little Black Submarines by The Black Keys was played to close out the service, followed by those in attendance reciting Vanbuskirk's badge number - 6482. An honor guard, playing bagpipes and drums, then escorted the flag-draped coffin out to a waiting procession.
At the graveside, the honor guard escorted Vanbuskirk's casket one last time to his final resting place at the Palm Mortuary and Cemetery on South Eastern Avenue. A 21 gun salute was followed by the playing of Taps. The guard's bagpipe and drum corps then played Amazing Grace. Five helicopters from Metro's Air Support Section then flew in formation over the cemetery. At the end of the service, a dispatcher sounded the last call for Vanbuskirk.
The investigation in to the accident that caused Vanbuskirk's death continues.
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