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"Honor flag" flown in for Portz's funeral

In the busy terminal of BWI airport, things stood still for a moment.

The passengers waiting for flights at gate C-7 looked up as police officers in white gloves lined up in two rows and a somber family huddled together, looking out the windows toward the tarmac.

As American Airlines Flight 1678 pulled up to the gate, it was showered by two blasts of water from airport fire trucks. The family then moved to the door, where Captain Jon Vise carried out a black suitcase.

Inside was an American flag that has traversed the country for the funerals of dozens of fallen military service members, police officers and firefighters. On Wednesday, it will be part of the services for Officer Tommy Portz Jr., a 10-year police department veteran who was killed when his patrol cruiser crashed into the back of a parked fire truck in West Baltimore.

[Photo by Sun photographer Kim Hairston]

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