The temperature was just below freezing when the funeral took place for Sgt. Richard Hogan, a retired 30-year deputy for the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department in Michigan. Sgt. Richard “Dick” Hogan, 64, of Attica, served in law enforcement for three decades before retiring, and also served his community as a firefighter, a first responder, part of the area’s dive team, and a member of the American Legion. His passing was felt by the entire community.
“With great sympathy and a sadden heart, the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office is announcing that retired Sgt. Richard Hogan unexpectedly passed away today of natural causes. Retired Sgt. Hogan protected and served the citizens of Lapeer County until 2004,” said the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department on Facebook. “Sheriff McKenna and the entire office want to express our condolences to retired Sgt. Richard Hogan’s family for their loss.”
His family, indeed, mourns Hogan’s passing more than anyone. So when Hogan’s nephew, Mark Steffler, saw a pickup truck stop in the road and the driver get out of the vehicle as the funeral procession went by, he took notice. And what he saw made him take a photo that is going viral.
“My father, retired Sgt. Richard Hogan, passed away suddenly on Monday this week and during his procession, a stranger got out of his car and saluted him. He stood in the freezing temperature and showed such reverence and respect to our family and to my father during his last ride. It was something that touched all who witnessed it,” the Hogan family told the media.
The man giving Sgt. Hogan a final salute was Army veteran Keith Quinlan, a local resident who did not know Hogan personally, but saw the funeral and knew that the retired sergeant deserved a sign of respect. Quinlan took no credit for the action, even after Steffler posted on Facebook asking the town if anyone knew who he was.
However, his wife commented on the original Facebook post to confirm that it was Quinlan. She also said that the gesture was simply done, “because he felt it was the respectful thing to do.”
What do you think of the gesture shown by this veteran to a fellow serviceman?
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.