HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Friends, family and fellow officers honored Horry County Police Cpl. Michael Ambrosino on Tuesday after he lost his battle to COVID-19 last week.
The day began with a private memorial ceremony at a Murrells Inlet funeral home, followed by an honorary procession.
Dozens of law enforcement vehicles made their way from the funeral home to the Myrtle Beach State Park, where a banner plane with a sign reading “RIP AMBRO” was circling in the sky above.
The family then took part in a ceremony at the state park, pouring a mix of sand, shells and flower petals from the pier into the ocean, where Ambrosino loved to spend a lot of his time.
People like Jim O’Brien who knew Ambrosino said he was a great person.
“A well-liked guy,” O’Brien said. “I haven’t heard a guy say a bad word about him. Really, he was just that type of individual.”
Some people on the beach just so happened to be there during the service, which they weren’t aware was going to happen. That didn’t stop some from watching intently.
Mike Bricker never met Ambrosino; he just happened to be on the beach before the service.
Despite that, the Vietnam veteran knows what it’s like to defend the lives of people he serves, just like Ambrosino did as a police officer.
“Before all this virus and everything went, if I saw a police officer anywhere, I’d go up and shake their hand and thank them for their service, because they’re the army that guards all of us in our homes,” Brickner said.
Ambrosino’s family released a statement regarding the passing of their loved one:
“Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reach out to our family, offer assistance, and share a little about their experiences over the years with Mike. It’s touching how kind and generous people truly are.
While we haven’t read every letter or comment yet, or returned every call, hearing about Mike and the people he reached on so many different levels makes us incredibly proud of him. To know that he made a difference in the lives of others is a light in the darkness. It doesn’t make the loss acceptable, but it does help the pain.
It’s hard for us right now. The beautiful stories make us laugh and smile, but they also hurt because it means Mike isn’t here, and truthfully we would trade all of it in a minute if it would bring him back.
COVID-19 took Mike, and it took our ability to mourn fully with everyone who meant so much to him, but it cannot and will not take our memories. Those live on forever, just like our love for him.”