Fallen Valley officer’s memory lives on through music

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 11:47 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - It’s been almost five months since Bridgewater College Officer John Painter and Campus Safety Officer J.J. Jefferson were killed in the line of duty on the college’s campus.

Jacob and Austin Painter, John Painter’s nephews, are in the band Blood Brothers and are making sure their uncle’s memory lives on.

“We just cling to one another and love each other to get through it, but it’ll always just be a hole missing from our family forever,” Austin said.

“Yeah, it’ll never go away,” Jacob said.

Days after Painter was killed, Jacob and Austin wrote the song Until We Meet Again. It was performed at the funeral ceremony for the two Valley officers.

“I cannot write lyrics to save my life and I was just like, ‘What did me and Uncle John have?’” Jacob said. “He definitely helped us write that one.”

The Painter brothers connected with Isabel Bauer and Madison Kibler, who are both digital media students at Bridgewater College. With their help, the Until We Meet Again music video was created.

The video includes videos and photos of John with his family and friends. The Blood Brothers filmed the video at Henleys Lake in Crozet, where their uncle spent a lot of time with his family.

“Editing the footage and putting it together and seeing the end product...I feel like I know John even though I never did,” Baurer said. “It just makes me more thankful for him and the sacrifice he was willing to make.”

Since the death of their uncle, the Blood Brothers have played the song for the Valley community.

“Everybody experiences something like this at some point in their life and I think and I think a lot of people can relate to the song,” Austin said. “The community as a whole has just been awesome through this whole time.”

The music still brings people together and helps their uncle’s memory live on.

“It kind of made a bridge between a lot of Bridgewater students and the Painter family because they just got a bigger glimpse into who John was,” Baurer said.

To see the Until We Meet Again music video, click here.

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