‘Big life moments are hard’: Daughter of fallen officer has special father-daughter dance at wedding

DENVER, Colorado (WJW) — It’s been 14 years since Kourtney Krietemeier’s father was killed in the line of duty.

Donnie Young was a detective with the Denver Police Department who was shot and killed back in 2005.

When Kourtney got married recently, she knew she wanted to dance with her mother at the reception.

But what happened after a few moments of dancing with her mother, brought Kourtney to tears.

Seven of her father’s former colleagues walked onto the dance floor to dance with her.

“I was shocked. The look on my face in the video was like, ‘Oh no.’ I just knew the tears were going to be flowing,” Kourtney told our sister station KDVR in Denver.

She said they told her “pretty much how proud they were of me, how special my dad was to them, just how excited they were for us.”

Kourtney’s husband Tanner told KDVR, “It’s a pretty amazing thing to watch how they come together, wrap around and support Kourtney and her family. It’s a special thing.”

Officer Danny Veith was the first officer on the dance floor.

“It was very emotional. I felt despair like Donnie’s being robbed of this moment,” Veith told KDVR. “Then I took stock of all that has happened in the last 14 years and looking at Kelly [Kourtney’s mother] and all she has accomplished in the last 14 years since Donnie’s murder and then seeing Kelsey [Kourtney’s sister] and Kourtney are these beautiful young women. Little girls no more. So the emotions finally ended up with joy.”

Officer Chris Shotts also danced with Kourtney.

“It was an honor to be part of that special moment,” he said. She has come such a long way and is a great kid. Donnie is up there watching and couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Kourtney, her mother, and the seven officers danced to the Paul Simon song called “Father and Daughter.”

“When I was super young, my dad got me a small replica of his badge with his number on it for Christmas,” Kourtney explained. “He played that song when he gave it to me.”

Kourtney admitted the “big life moments are hard” without her father.

But she said her wedding day was perfect because of all the people who were there.

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