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Community celebrates the life of a fallen officer on the anniversary of his death

By NICOLE PITT

KIRKLAND, N.Y. (WKTV) - Six years ago, New Hartford Police Officer Joseph Corr was gunned down by robbery suspects. Monday evening, the community came together to remember the fallen officer.

The memorial service began at St. John's Church in New Hartford at 6pm. It was followed by a candlelight vigil at 8:15pm where Officer Corr was killed, at the Byrne Dairy on Route 5 in Kirkland. At 8:26pm sirens went off in honor of the time Officer Corr passed away.

Both events were well attended by friends, community leaders and strangers-- some of them never knew Officer Corr. His mother, Kathy, says community support means the world to her family. "Without them. I don't know where we would be. They were the ones that really helped us because we had nobody to turn to. You know, they grieved with us, so they were kind of like our helpers. They supported, lifted us up and held us up so we wouldn't fall down," said Kathy Corr.

Kathy says although some time has gone by since the death of her son, the event is still fresh in her mind. "Things get...not easier, but they get more tolerable." Officer Corr was killed on a Monday night and this is the first time the anniversary of his death also fell on a Monday. "You think about six years ago today I was doing this or that.. So it's been a hard day for me, " says Corr.

Corr spoke about returning to the site where her son died- the field behind Byrne Dairy. "I never thought I would be able to come here like this..but after the first year, I found myself being drawn..and I don't know why. There was just this feeling that I had...that was where I was supposed to go..and I would come here and make some wreaths. To me this was a peaceful area. I would come sometimes in the summer..and eat my lunch." Still Kathy Corr finds it hard to look at the actual spot where her son took his last breath.

She stood amongst dozens of supporters from the community at the vigil Monday night, including members of the Wyman family. Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Kurt Wyman was killed following a stand-off in the Town of Augusta last June. Kathy Corr and her husband sat through the trial of Wyman's accused killer earlier this month, offering support to a family who knows what their loss is like. "We just try to help some of the other families that have been going through this. We didn't have anybody to really talk to or see anybody behind us going through the same thing..but now..unfortunately...we are helping some families," says Corr.

Kathy Corr says her son considered the community his family.

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