He answered his life’s calling to serve his country and community, and gave the ultimate sacrifice. Smyrna Police Officer Christopher Ewing, died in the line of duty on April 20, 2020. A 34-year-old husband and father of three daughters in Acworth, Ewing served 10 years in the U.S. Air Force and remained active in the Air Force Reserves while serving as a two-year veteran of the Smyrna Police Department.
Throughout their 10-year marriage, his wife, Cassie, lived with the constant awareness of the dangers her husband faced everyday as a patrolman as well as during his four military deployments. Though she became accustomed to his absences from home and family, she still found it difficult to watch him leave everyday. She finds comfort knowing he was “made for police work” and willingly committed to serving his country and community. Chris graduated with honors from the police academy. Two days after his tragic death, he was scheduled to interview for a position on the DUI Task Force. Cassie was informed later he was the top pick for the specialized force. Chris was killed when his patrol car was struck by a suspected drunken driver.
When off duty, Chris spent time with his family playing board games, competing with their Switch video games, and just hanging out.
“Chris loved people. He was the glue that held our friend group together. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed making people laugh,” Cassie said.
In the wake of Chris’s death, the Ewing family received an outpouring of sympathy and support from strangers around the country and Canada. The Ohio State Flag flew at half-staff in memory of Chris. The food train ran on so long Cassie had to cancel it to prevent waste. The most touching gestures were the handmade Christmas ornaments she received, which will be a yearly reminder of those who grieved with her during such a time of sorrow.
The procession that followed Officer Ewing from his funeral at Truist Park to his final resting place at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, shut down I-75. Traffic stopped and caring citizens lined the bridges and highway in support and appreciation for the fallen local hero.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2020, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation paid off the mortgage of the Ewing family’s home in Acworth, as well as others, through the Fallen First Responder Home Program. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation (T2T.org) remains committed to ensuring Americans never forget the events of 9/11 and the countless lives lost and sacrifices made, and continue to be made, by first responders in the line of duty. By paying off the mortgages of fallen law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty and who leave behind young children, the foundation hopes to provide stability and security to those families who experience sudden, tragic loss.
“There are no words that can truly describe how we feel knowing the mortgage on our home has been paid off,” Cassie said in a statement. “I wish I could share this moment with my husband, Chris. He would be amazed at the support his family has been given. We are so very thankful to be able to say, this is our forever home.”
Tunnel to Towers Foundation presented Cassie with a basket and shared these words referencing an emotional scene from the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” “This small presentation is akin to the moment when George and Mary welcome the Martini family to Bailey Park, and the family’s dream of homeownership is realized. This plaque asks for this home to be blessed with bread – so this family never knows hunger; salt – so that life will always have flavor; candles – to light the dark times; honey – to remember life’s sweetness; and wine – that joy and prosperity reign forever. Welcome home!”
Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s mission continues throughout the United States with the Gold Star Family Home Program, which honors the legacy of those who lost their lives while serving our country by providing mortgage-free homes to surviving spouses with young children. The foundation also custom builds mortgage-free smart homes for the most catastrophically injured veterans and first responders, with each home designed to address their unique needs, allowing them to reclaim their day-to-day independence.
Officer Ewing’s name is carved in the granite memorial outside the Cobb County Courthouse commemorating 13 other Cobb law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty since the 1950s. Cassie plans to attend the National Peace Officers Memorial Day Service on May 15, held at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where Chris’s name will be engraved on the National Law Enforcement Memorial, a wall with more than 22,000 names of those who lost their lives in the line of duty. They answered the call and gave their all. May we never forget.
– Vicki Davis, an Atlanta native, frequently visited her parents’ hometown of Acworth. She moved to the area 32 years ago with her husband and sons. Family is her focus; writing is her passion.