A small, somber crowd of family members and Temple Terrace police officers gathered on Saturday, October 05, 2013, at Riverside Park in Temple Terrace, Fla. Marking seven months since Temple Terrace Police Detective Christopher "Migs" Migliore succumbed to a life-debilitating illness --Cushing's Syndrome-- family, friends, and police colleagues congregated to commemorate Detective Migliore's life.
"Migs", as he was widely known, now has three bricks cobbled into the groundwork at the Angel of Hope statue in the park, his name beveled into each. The Angel of Hope concept is based on honoring sons and daughters who have perished, with commemorations from surviving parents and loved ones.
A uniformed contingent of police officers --Migs' colleagues from the Temple Terrace Police Department-- stood in honor of their fallen comrade.
Temple Terrace Deputy Police Chief Bernie Seeley was in attendance and one of many to place a rose upon the outstretched hands of the Angel of Hope statue.
A semi-circular phalanx of Temple Terrace police officers stood attentively listening to the eulogy-based speeches orated by surviving parents and friends.
As the patronage stood amidst other family members whose loved ones have passed, each understood the silence, the pain, the loss of precious life...and the aura of carrying on the memory of those lost too soon.
At age 31, Migs fought gallantly his battle with Cushing's Syndrome. Diagnosed in late 2012, Migs endured a surgical operation in February 2013 to excise both his adrenal glands. The objective was to combat the effects of Cushing's Syndrome.
During the operation, complications arose, extending his hospital stay; Migs was discharged from Tampa General Hospital a few weeks later and returned to his parents' home first.
Days later, Migs returned to his home in Hillsborough County where he passed away.
Remembered not only for his perpetual, bold and radiant smile, but more finitely for his humanitarian traits. Quiet and reserved in nature, Migs lived life in service to others in his own special way, extending grace and humility to those with whom he interacted. Non-judgmental. Serene and calm, just like Riverside Park.
As a police detective, building his cases was an iconoclastic component of his investigative prowess. The elusive clues and tiny details he knew existed gnawed at him...until he pieced all the parts together and effected arrests.
Migs' parents, Mari and Louie, in remembrance of their wonderful son's life, decided to have bricks specially made. Each of three bricks has "Christopher Migliore" and an endearing message etched within.
Migs' parents, Mari and Louie Migliore, endeavored to maintain their son's legacy not only as a stellar cop but also as a loving son and fine human being. In his honor, the Migliore's had bricks designed and etched with the words "Cop Angel" in each. "He is watching over and protecting us from Heaven now, as a Cop Angel," said Mari Migliore of her son.
"He was the greatest son" intimated Migs' father, Louie Migliore.
Migs' sister, Michelle Tovar, said "Even though he was five years younger than me he always protected me."
Some of the bricks were petitioned by his other family members. Now, the triad of bricks is eternally fitted into the grounds at the Angel of Hope statue and place of remembrance.
After speeches were orated to the crowd, and as each congregant placed a rose at the feet or in the outstretched hands of the Angel of Hope statue, it became official: Another memory created by Migs was born...and his legacy eternally carries on.
The Angel of Hope is an enclave in Riverside Park which was opened in 2009. With the property donated by the City of Temple Terrace, a new place for family, residents, and visitors was created. A contemporary playground sits in the center of the park, providing an acute angle for all parents/guardians to observe the children.
The Hillsborough River laps up against the southern part of the park, and a huge swing set overlooks the waterway and its abundance of wildlife. Hence, Riverside Park was coined appropriately as the park's namesake.
Before Riverside Park was even a thought or blueprinted on paper it was a solitary tract of land, thickly-bearded with brush, with a makeshift dirt road leading to/from a cul-de-sac. Before its groundbreaking and upon that cul-de-sac often sat Detective Migliore, when he was a street cop working duty on midnight shift.
It was upon these grounds that Migliore sat in a fully-marked Temple Terrace police cruiser as he wrote his police reports.
The irony is not small: No one could have predicted that those same natural grounds would some day be developed into a picturesque riverfront city park, with a cobbling of bricks attesting to Detective Christopher "Migs" Migliore as a "Cop Angel" among the Angel of Hope memorial site.
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