On pilgrimage, remembering Rod Bradway

INDIANAPOLIS - Rory Gentry intended this to be a week of spiritual rejuvenation.

Instead, he received a test of faith.

Gentry, a Westfield police lieutenant, was 4,000 miles away from his family and brothers- and sisters-in-blue when he learned that Officer Rod Bradway, a fellow officer and the husband of his niece, had been fatally shot while responding to a domestic dispute.

Unable to mourn with his family in person, Gentry is carrying on his back a make-shift memorial -- a flag that reads "In Memory of Rod Bradway, Sept. 20, 2013" -- as he walks the Camino de Santiago, a Christian pilgrimage across northern Spain.

"Rod was great. Rod was a real good guy," Gentry said. "It was a shock."

Along the path is a cross known as the Cruz de Ferro, the Iron Cross. Tradition is for pilgrims to leave a stone at the cross, symbolizing leaving their burdens. When he arrived, Gentry placed a marker in honor of Bradway, and held a moment of silence in the shadow of the cross.

"It was extremely emotional on the way to the cross," he said.

Though he hasn't been able to be with them in body, Gentry said he hopes his family knows he's with them in spirit.

"I just wish peace to my whole family," Gentry said. "I hope that somehow being memorialized from so far away … that it will bring peace to them."

Print this article Back to Top