Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fox News: 'Mourners Remember Slain Museum Guard Officer Johns Killed in Holocaust Museum Shooting'

4:54 minutes

2:47 minutes


Mourners Remember Slain Museum Guard Officer Johns Killed in Holocaust
Museum Shooting
Updated: Friday, 19 Jun 2009, 4:06 PM MDT
Published : Friday, 19 Jun 2009, 8:46 AM MDT
By Paul Wagner/myfoxdc

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Stephen Johns was not a sworn officer of the law, but he might as well have been. The Special Police Officer who opened the door for his killer was shown the deepest respect.

He was honored by members of the Metropolitan Police, Prince George's County Police, U.S. Park Police and others.

Honor guards presented their colors, thanking Officer Johns for his service.

From taps to Amazing Grace, Officer Johns was remembered with honors usually reserved for the men and women in blue.

No cameras were allowed inside, but his eulogy was greeted by applause throughout, at one point a standing ovation. The Reverend Doctor John L. McCoy of the Word of God Baptist Church said Officer Johns' killer was blinded by old hate. He’s a man whose racist views are on the critical list, never to recover.

"To be cut down like that," said former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, "To welcome a stranger into that Holocaust museum. I have felt a sense of rage ever since that day". William Cohen was waiting for his wife in the lobby of the museum when police say James von Brunn stormed inside. They both attended the funeral.

"Well, I was moved," said Janet Langhart, Cohen's wife. "I was moved by the words, the music. I was moved by the spirit. I was moved by the strength of Officer Johns' mother".

Stephen Johns was remembered in the funeral program as a warm, gentle and calm person, so full of love and respectful to all.

"Could have been me," said Special Police Officer Ronald Stevenson, "You know it could have been any of us. Anyone who puts the badge and the uniform on, you never know". Miles Roundtree, a maintenance worker at the Holocaust Museum, said, "It's a sad day. Big John was a good man. He did his job and he was a great officer at the museum and we are going to truly miss Big John".

When asked where is God at times like these? Reverend McCoy said he tells people he is in the hearts of people appalled by this.

The Ebenezer AME Church was nearly filled to capacity from people who knew Officer Johns quite well and others who never met him.

Many came to pay their respects to a man who took a bullet in the name of hate. A man who deserved the utmost respect.

Von Brunn remains hospitalized after being shot in the face by guards who returned fire. The FBI has said he is likely to survive. A hearing is set for Monday for an update on his condition, but prosecutors and von Brunn's public defender have filed a joint motion asking that the hearing be postponed until Tuesday. No date has been set for von Brunn's initial court appearance.

The museum has also established a special fund for the benefit of Officer Johns' family. To make an online contribution to the USHMM Officer Johns Family Fund, follow this link.

You may also mail your donations. Make checks payable to USHMM Office Johns Family Fund, and mail them to:
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW
Washington, DC 20024

You may also contribute by calling toll-free (877) 918-7466. Condolence cards may be sent to the family at the museums address and will be forwarded to them. Please send them in c/o Tanya Barbour, Office of the Chief of Staff.

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