EASLEY, S.C. (WSPA) – A procession and funeral were held for fallen Easley Police Officer Matthew Hare who was killed in the line of duty.
7NEWS previously reported Officer Hare was killed by a train Wednesday morning while he was attempting to save someone on the railroad tracks.
“This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command,” said Lawson Clary, executive pastor at Five Point Church, as he read from scripture.
The procession began around 10 a.m. carrying Officer Hare from Robinson Funeral Home down Hwy 123 to Rock Springs Baptist Church, where the funeral service was held.
The funeral began at 11 a.m. at the church.
“Officer Hare was a hero,” said community member Susan Culbreath. “He died saving someone else’s life.”
“I didn’t know him, but the whole thing just breaks my heart,” said community member Delbert Chamness.
Officer Hare’s police car sat outside the church Tuesday covered in flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, and a sign that read HERO.
“Instead of being selfish, he was selfless,” said Hare’s great uncle said. “He was doing his job. As I told Mr. Lawson earlier, I really have never known a hero ‘til now and I hate that this is the way that I got to feel what it feels like.”
At Hare’s funeral service, those who knew him didn’t just describe him as a hero, but admired his character and the smile he brought to everyone he encountered.
“Matthew Hare was known to brighten the day and bring a laugh when needed,” Easley Police Department said. “Although officer Hare was just beginning his time in law enforcement, he accomplished what takes most an entire career, saving a life and making a difference.”