Actor Mark Wahlberg paid his respects to the families of two officers killed in the line of duty while he was visiting Des Moines, Iowa.
Wahlberg was in town to promote his new movie, “Patriot’s Day,” when he decided to privately visit the families of Sgt. Tony Beminio and officer Justin Martin, two Des Moines officers who were killed in November 2016.
Wahlberg’s new movie, which is based on the Boston marathon bombings and the events that unfolded in the days after, was being screened in the city as a fundraiser for Hy-Vee’s homefront initiative. The organization raises money and offers support for first responders and military personnel.
“It’s never easy but to know that we didn’t forgot and to honor them in a way that they should is very important,” Wahlberg, who also struck an exclusive deal to sell his nutrition products at Hy-Vee grocery stores, told WOI-TV.
Wahlberg said he was glad to meet the families of the fallen officers, saying that his movie is a “tribute to law enforcement and anyone who commits to serving their community and country.”
“Regardless of how much hope and inspiration people find [in the movie], it is still reenacting the worst day of a lot of people’s lives,” he told The Des Moines Register. “And then sitting there and meeting people here today who have dealt with loss pretty recently, and especially parents and spouses and children, it is never easy, but to know that we didn’t forget and to honor them in the way that they should [be] is extremely important.”
Wahlberg’s actions garnered praise from people who felt as though most Hollywood celebrities were too dismissive and ungrateful towards law enforcement.
“I’ve always liked this guy,” one Mad World News reader wrote on the site’s Facebook page. “One time I saw him at Mass at a Catholic Church in Los Angeles. He had this really cool leather jacket on. When I left church that day I noticed a homeless guy had on Mark Walhberg’s jacket. Mr. Wahlberg is a true Christian man.”
“We will remember…you have our respect both as an actor and a decent man,” another added.
Sources: WOI-TV, The Des Moines Register, Mad World News/Facebook / Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi/Flickr