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Flag holder stands outside to honor MPD Officer Matthew Rittner

Posted at 11:16 AM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 15:14:23-05

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Police will lay Officer Matthew Rittner to rest Wednesday. It is the third time in eight months they've had to do so for a fallen officer. While it's an all- too-familiar sight for law enforcement, they can find some solace in one man standing outside, waving an American flag.

"This is my sixth funeral in eight months," Tim Nelson of Oak Creek said. "I did two in Chicago and in Lake Mills for Captain Truman."

Nelson bought a large American flag last year after Officer Charles Irvine Jr. was killed. He didn't think he'd need to use it again just a few weeks later after Officer Michael Michalski was killed.

As rough as those days were emotionally, Mother Nature was kind. However, even with temperatures in the high teens and a foot of snow on the ground, Nelson knew where he'd be Wednesday.

"(Officer Rittner) sacrificed everything for us," Nelson said. "I can sit in the cold for a little bit for him to say thank you."

Nelson doesn't have any connection to law enforcement. He's just an avid supporter. So despite bitter cold temperatures, he will be here just the same way he was for other fallen members of law enforcement.

"Until Officer Rittner and his family leaves," Nelson said. "Same as last time."

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