MINGO COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – In the eyes of many, putting one’s life on the line for the safety and protection of others is one of the biggest honors an officer could make.

On Wednesday, law enforcement and fire departments from across the country came together to honor one of their own, Sgt. Cory Maynard, who made the ultimate sacrifice last Friday when he was shot in Mingo County.

“It’s just sad. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve seen. Just the outpouring of support for our small community, it’s amazing to see that, but I just feel for his family and his kids,” Justin Marcum, a close friend, said.

Williamson community members, law enforcement, firefighters and more remembered Maynard and his bravery at Wednesday’s visitation, funeral and procession. For the procession, they lined the streets and waved flags for Maynard.

“I think it’s something they need to see, just how love will reflect our community and passion just for our friends because when you think about it, that’s about all we have. Life is short, and sometimes it’s unfair,” Marcum said.

It wasn’t just his willingness to serve with the West Virginia State Police that pulled on the heartstrings of many.

“It’s just not right. He’s the change. He’s going to bring a change to the way things are. I’m just sorry it ended like this and that we couldn’t do anything else for him,” friend Larry New said. “But he’s going to continue to give us the memory, and we’re not going to let that go.”

Many community members say they weren’t just remembering a local trooper, but they were honoring their friend who was so loved. Some even say Maynard was “their protector.”

“We were safe, like a parent and a child. We’re going to miss him,” New said.

Some people who didn’t know Maynard personally said his bravery stands out to them, especially on a day like Wednesday.

“It’s just hard seeing one of our police and those that protect lose their life in such a horrific way. It’s something that the community doesn’t really get over, and it’s something that families and police families all over the world, they think about their loved ones,” Williamson resident Ciera Haddad said.

Wednesday’s procession wasn’t the only way Mingo County residents are honoring Sgt. Maynard.

A few neighbors decorated the front of Maynard’s home. They said it was the least they could do for someone who did so much.

“He just touched so many people, and he was just a happy person. He was blessed and he was grateful for so much,” Marcum said.

Residents of Mingo County said they will always remember Sgt. Cory Maynard and the light that he was.