HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been 22 years since Holyoke Police officer, John DiNapoli, was killed in the line of duty.

On a somber rainy morning, the Holyoke Police Department held the annual remembrance ceremony for Officer John DiNapoli.

Childhood classmate of DiNapoli, Don Andrejczyk, told 22News, “I feel so bad for what happened to John. He will stay in my heart forever.” DiNapoli was killed in the line of duty when he was shot while following a suspect in an unmarked cruiser.

Members of the Holyoke Police Department Honor Guard delivered DiNapoli’s wreath to his memorial and observed a moment of silence in his honor, joined by the fallen officer’s friends, family and former coworkers. He holds a special place in one childhood classmate’s heart for his kindness towards his wife after the Vietnam War.

“When I was over there I married an Asian lady, and that wasn’t a popular thing to do during the Vietnam war, however during our first class reunion in 1970, John was so very kind to my wife and me. So that’s something I remember and keep in my heart forever and ever,” said Andrejczyk.

DiNapoli was 51-years-old when he was killed. He left behind a wife and two children. One of his children, his son Andy, is now a Holyoke Police Officer.

Retired Holyoke Police Captain, Alan Fletcher shared with us, “The day we walked in together, the day he died, we were talking about retirement. He was a good guy, very talkative, he could talk to anybody.”

You can find DiNapoli’s memorial statue in front of the Holyoke Police Department.