"Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. For those who love with their heart and soul there is no such thing as separation," Rumi.
The above quote was printed in the memorial program for fallen Santa Cruz Detective Elizabeth Chase Butler, which was being handed to the hundreds who gathered Thursday afternoon at the Kaiser Permanente Arena on Front Street to view the live feed of the service from the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
Similarly, the program for Detective Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker had another moving quote: "When I met you, I had no idea how much my life was about to be changed ... but then, how could I have known? A love like ours happens once in a lifetime," Linda Lee Elrod.
It didn't matter that the slain officers' coffins were 30-plus miles away, the pain for their tragic death Feb. 26 was palpable at the arena where ushers did their best to pass out tissues to those who openly wept.
They were among the some 1,200 mourners who sat on white chairs and in the bleachers inside the large blue building to watch the three-hour memorial service at the HP Pavilion in San Jose through the live feed.
Some arrived two hours after after watching the officers' funeral procession leave from the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk early Thursday morning.
Most began pouring in the arena at 10 a.m with the feed beginning at 11 a.m. A second feed was being shown at the historic Del Mar Theatre on Pacific Avenue and through the Santa Cruz Community Television, KSBW and KION.
Darrie Ganzhorn, executive director of the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz, said she was attending the proceedings at the arena to represent her nonprofit organization. "I understand this is a very powerful loss for us and it really underlines for me how we're all connected," she said.
Jann McCord, a volunteer with the American Red Cross in Santa Cruz, said she was providing service at the arena by speaking with the grieving about the devastating loss. "It's double awful," she said. "We had a woman murdered May 8 ... I keep thinking of the children of these officers."
At about 3:30 p.m. Feb. 26, Baker and Butler were gunned down by Jeremy Peter Goulet, 35, outside his residence at 822 Branciforte Drive. The officers were investigating him for a sexual assault allegation. He then stole Baker's car, fled, returned to the area where after advancing toward law enforcement with a firearm and was killed. The officers' deaths are the first in the Santa Cruz Police Department's 150-year history.
Nicholas Schroeder, 13, a student at Holy Cross Middle School, said he had come to the arena with his grandmother because his family knew the fallen officers.
"It's a sad day. Everyone cared for them and I'm grateful that they put their lives on the line for us," he said.