It’s that time of year… children in many cities across America already returning to school to begin a new year. And for Kaylee and Kody Murphy of suburban Phoenix, it’s certainly one day they will never forget.
The kindergartner and second-grader are the children of fallen Phoenix police officer, Travis Murphy, who was killed in the line of duty five years ago.
Monday was no doubt an extraordinary day for the brother and sister who were escorted into the school by their father’s brothers and sisters in blue. As they arrived for their first day at Peoria Terramar Elementary, Kaylee and Kody were greeted by dozens of Phoenix police officers and firefighters. The first responders from Peoria, Glendale and Phoenix, also there to mark the special day with the children, to honor the memory of their father.
Local media stations reported that when Murphy was laid to rest in 2010, Phoenix officials promised to keep his wife, Danielle, and children a part of their extended family.
Danielle told KTAR News, her children had no idea what was waiting for them on the first day back. “Who are all these people, do they know Daddy?” the kids asked. Danielle told them, “Yes, they’re all Daddy’s friends.”
A Facebook photo shows how the officers formed a special path for the children to walk through in the schoolyard, with a colorful sign saying “Kinder Path,” marking the entrance. Other parents, teachers and students could be seen milling about in the background, just before the first bell.
Phoenix police offered a similar tribute to another officer who died on the job in 2013. Officers witnessed Hailey Raetz’s graduation from kindergarten, just days after the little girl lost her father, a six-year veteran of the force, who also served in Iraq. She received a standing ovation at the ceremony, KTAR reported.