Country music legend Vince Gill performed a moving tribute at a funeral ceremony honoring a fallen hero on Feb. 6.

Eric Mumaw was a respected 18-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department. He died on Thursday, Feb. 2, while trying to rescue a suicidal woman from the cold waters of the Cumberland River. He was 44.

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During the memorial service, which was held at the Cornerstone Church in Madison, Tennessee, an incredibly teary-eyed Vince recalled his late older brother, Bob, as he dedicated the 1995 song, “Go Rest High on that Mountain,” to Eric’s mother, Esther Marie Connell.

Vince said, “This was a song I wrote when I lost my brother. He passed right around the same age as Eric, and I watched my mother have to go through this and it was very difficult.”

“I wrote this song for the love of a brother,” he added, “and today I want to sing it for all of you — for your love and for your brother.”

Then, Vince solemnly crooned the emotional ballad over the microphone amid a cop car covered in flowers and red, white and blue balloons.

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Many may recall that Vince began writing “Go Rest High on that Mountain” following the death of country superstar Keith Whitley. However, he didn’t finish the ballad until the passing of his sibling, who died of a heart attack in 1993.

Aside from Vince, stars Billy Ray Cyrus and Jamey Johnson were among others who paid tribute to Eric during the memorial service. They performed a stirring duet on “Some Gave All.” Our hearts go out to Eric’s family and friends during this time.

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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