LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Saturday, the City of Lincoln and its citizens mourned the loss of Investigator Mario Herrera, whose dedication to his community, love for those he served and humor will be missed.
It was a somber service, though not without a little laughter, reflecting Herrera's lighthearted nature as well as his ability to show kindness in difficult times.
Francisco Herrera reflected on his last visit with his younger brother, recalling a brief visit and plans to spend more time together now that they were settling down.
“I thought 'This was nice,'" Francisco Herrera said. "'We don’t have the anxieties of practices and lunches and school and homework anymore. We can just start to spend more time together, share a drink on the porch, be old together,' that we had turned a page. But it was the last page and so much has been stolen from us.”
Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister was unable to attend the service in person after being diagnosed earlier this week with COVID-19. But he still spoke to Herrera's family through a prerecorded video, offering his condolences and praising the example the investigator left for his fellow officers.
“Mario’s memory will live on in every action of every Lincoln police officer who protects the vulnerable, renders aid to the injured, consoles the afflicted and comforts the frightened," Bliemeister said.
Several Nebraska officials were in attendance, with Governor Ricketts offering condolences to Herrera's family as he reflected on his legacy.
“Mario left a tremendous legacy, and we are all proud of his service," Ricketts said. "And every one of the men and women who serve us in law enforcement.”
The officer, father, husband and brother touched the lives of many, leaving behind fond memories for those who knew him.
“Mario, my brother, I love you," Francisco Herrera said. "We love you. You have made us all enormously proud and we will miss you so, so much.”