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At riverside memorial, a handwritten note to Officer Lehner

A handwritten letter sat along the edge of the Niagara River in Broderick Park on Thursday morning.

Below an American flag and beside a blue pumpkin and bouquets of flowers, the one-page note in blue cursive lettering was fastened to one of the bouquets.

It was addressed to Buffalo Police Officer Craig E. Lehner.

The author described herself as "a grateful Buffalonian."

It was part of a makeshift memorial dedicated to Lehner, whose body was found in the river Tuesday, five days after he went missing during a police dive team training exercise.

A memorial to fallen Buffalo Police Officer Craig Lehner at the edge of the Niagara River in Broderick Park. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Here's the full text of the letter:

Dear Officer Lehner,

It is amazing to see how much you are loved and cared about. I'm certain you never could have imagined it while you were here.

We all feel the extraordinary loss of you. We cry for you and we cry for your partner and beloved Shield.

So many feel helpless. So many want to do something: shine a blue light, say a prayer, bring you flowers, anything to honor you. Your brother officers and firefighters stood at attention to salute you while others held flags and their hearts as you went by. You will be greatly missed by so many but never, ever forgotten. Rest in peace, Officer Lehner. You are loved and will be forever in our hearts.

A grateful Buffalonian,

Joanne S.

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