‘One day I’m going to see him again’: Hutto student honors fallen Capt. Bedwell

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 6:40 PM EST
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BAINBRIDGE, Ga (WCTV) - Among the crowds of hundreds mourning the loss of Captain Bedwell was Hutto Middle School student Marquail Jones.

A photo of the sixth grader went viral saluting Tuesday’s procession as it passed the school.

He’s been recognized by public safety and sheriff’s departments from all across the region.

School administrators said for the whole 30 minute plus procession, he didn’t break his salute

“Perhaps you’ve seen on Facebook, or read the hundreds of comments on Facebook or Ivey’s guest page, and even the viral picture of a small boy during the processional when he stood at attention and he saluted,” said Reverend Stephen Webb.

Webb is referring to this photo:

HMS student Marquail Jones honored the life of Captain Justin Bedwell. He stood at attention the entire processional. #hms #thebearcatway

Posted by DCBOE Instructional Spotlight on Tuesday, March 2, 2021

But, the story behind the salute tells of an unshakeable bond.

“He helped me a lot,” Jones said. “He helped me get my grades up, he helped me, I went from an “F” to an “A.”

Jones says Captain Bedwell would make sure he got to school and home safe and was a guide through life’s challenges.

“Even though he just now passed, we’re still connected. We’re not losing each other’s relationship because one day I’m going to see him again,” Jones said.

He said goodbye from the bleachers, but hopes his show of support can be an example for other kids to one day do the same.

HMS principal, Crycynthia Gardner, said, “It was like he was watching over to make sure he knew he appreciated every act of kindness that was done for him as he has become a young man.”

As law enforcement helicopters flew overhead to close out the service, DCSO shared their final farewell: ”Captain Bedwell was not just one of the good guys, he was one of the best. Justin, you will never be forgotten and will forever be missed. Rest in peace, Captain Bedwell. We’ve got the watch from here.”

Jones told WCTV that he wants to work in law enforcement one day.

When asked if Capt. Bedwell was part of the reason why, he said “absolutely.”

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