Hundreds of bikers gathered together to celebrate the life, service and sacrifice of Master Police Officer Peter J. Lavery in Newington on Sunday.
The long-time member of the Newington Police Department was shot and killed in 2004 while responding to a domestic disturbance call.
Lavery served in the Newington Police Department for 17 years and motorcycle riding was something he loved to do. He even got to do it on duty when he was selected to be one of two motorcycle officers in 2002.
"He had a passion for motorcycles that was wild," said Steve Parker, of Newington.
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Whether on or off duty, Lavery loved to ride. As one of the first motorcycle officers for Newington Police, the community puts together a fitting tribute.
Sunday marked the 18th annual Memorial Motorcycle Ride in his honor.
Bikers will travel 35 miles through several towns including Berlin, Cromwell, Glastonbury, Middletown, Portland, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield.
"I've not missed a ride and I plan on never missing a ride," said Tony Letizio, of Berlin.
"He would be shocked and so happy to see so many people coming year after year," said Sam Grady, of Berlin.
Lavery's daughter Sam says she remembers how her dad would come home from work.
"One of my favorite things was watching him come home from a midnight shift, blaring Irish music very loudly down the street, and I would greet him on the front steps," she said.
Lavery is loved and remembered by man who knew him as a father, friend and great community figure.
"When Peter arrived, you knew everything was under control. He had all the confidence in the world," Parker said.
"Peter was that kind of guy. One of the most loving fathers...grandfathers. I know he's looking down...he was just a dear friend," Letizio added.
The money raised is put into the Peter J. Lavery Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to students pursuing an education in law enforcement or criminal justice.