Detective Donnie Young of the Denver Police Department was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2005. His brothers in blue made sure to honor his memory when his little girl walked down the aisle on her wedding day this past month.
Kourtney Krietemeier married her husband Tanner in a beautiful ceremony which was attended not only by their close friends and family but also many of the officers that had once worked alongside her father at the Denver Police Department. The bride and groom had planned out every little detail of the day themselves.
“We tried to figure out little things ya know,” Kourtney stated
“to make sure that his memory was there. I had my dad’s necklace wrapped around my bouquet. Tanner and I did a shot of Patron during the ceremony in his honor. We tried to make it fun — smiles, happy memories.”
Kourtney’s mother Kelly walked her down the aisle followed by two of her father’s closest friends, Jeff & Chris in their uniforms.
“That was a really hard thing to think about-like walking down the aisle without him…having Jeff & Chris behind me was…it just really solidified everything and made me feel like he was a part of it.”
The meticulous planning led to the decision that Kourtney would dance with her mother during the traditional father daughter dance. The music cued up, and her mother and Kourtney all smiles as they swayed to the music and her mother twirled her.
Little did Kourtney know, her mother had planned a surprise that day for her daughter. As Kourtney’s mother stepped away from her daughter during the song, one of her father’s brethren officers stepped into her place and started to dance with the bride on her wedding day – all in honor of her late father.
One by one, seven of the late Detective Young’s colleagues stepped up to dance with his daughter.
“I was shocked. The look on my face in the video was like, ‘Oh no.’ I just knew the tears were going to be flowing,” Kourtney explained to FOX31 Denver.
Kourtney went on to state that each her father’s friends shared with her how proud they were of the woman that she had become and how much her father had meant to each of them.
Officer Danny Veith who was the first officer to step in and dance with Kourtney explained;
“It was very emotional. I felt despair like Donnie’s being robbed of this moment. Then I took stock of all that has happened in the last 14 years and looking at Kelly and all she has accomplished in the last 14 years since Donnie’s murder and then seeing Kelsey and Kourtney are these beautiful young women. Little girls no more. So, the emotions finally ended up with joy, seeing how happy Kourtney and Tanner were and the future they had.”
Veith explain to Kourtney,
“I just told her how Donnie was and is proud of her. Being the first to dance with her, I got to see every other officer walk out, very proud, happy fathers. And then as they turned their back to Kourtney to return to our group, every single one of them was crying. At that moment, I was just so proud of these guys and how far they have come in the last 14 years.”
Kourtney’s husband Tanner said, “It’s a pretty amazing thing to watch how they come together wrap around and support Kourtney and her family, it’s a special thing.”
“It was emotional. It was amazing just seeing the support she has. What her entire family has from the Denver Police Department,” said Tanner. “The way it came together, it really just wrapped up the moment.”
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
And while this particular day was focused around Kourtney and her special moments, she made sure to recognize that her father’s friends and colleagues are also still healing from the loss of their brother in blue.
“A lot of my dad’s friends and officers are still dealing with the pain of what we all went through, it’s not just our family that lost somebody. Those officers lost somebody too, and they’re able to come together and show us love,” she said. “These are good, amazing people that put their lives on the line for us every single day,” Kourtney said.
According to a 2005 Denver post article “Detective Donald R. “Donnie” Young, 43, was shot three times around…while providing security at a party at the Salon Ocampo social hall. Young was shot in the head and the side.” The article goes on to explain that Young and another officer were ambushed on their detail that day in 2005.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!