BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A photo taken at a rainy funeral procession for a fallen police officer is going viral.
It showed a good Samaritan shielding a sheriff's deputy as she saluted during a downpour Jan. 19 in Alabama.
She never knew he was there, and never knew how important his good deed was until the two were connected again face to face.
The photo showed Tiffany Dial saluting during the procession while a man with an umbrella stands behind her for 30 minutes, keeping her dry.
Because of Dial's wide-brimmed hat, she did not realize what was happening but she did notice people taking pictures, and when she later learned of the kind deed she was stunned.
"It meant a lot, in ways you can't even put into words," she said. "It wasn't just about keeping the rain off of me for that little bit, it meant a lot more than that."
The man with the umbrella is Shawn Allen, a civilian who actually works in the same building as Dial - two strangers, now connected by an act of kindness.
Allen explained to Dial what he was thinking when he put his umbrella over her head.
"The procession was just about one of the most powerful kind of emotional displays that I hope I never see again, and I was just really impressed that you were out there paying your respects to Sgt. Carter," he said.
Deputy Dial says that day has taught her an important lesson that's changed her outlook on the job.
"People do care about us, and that's very uplifting," she said. "It can be very easy to get jaded in this job, so it's nice to see the good in people and to be reminded of that too."
When Allen was asked why he never said anything to the deputy during the event, he said it was out of respect for the procession.
The fallen officer, Sergeant Wytasha Carter, was shot and killed while trying to make an arrest last week in Birmingham.
Photo of good Samaritan holding umbrella over deputy at funeral goes viral
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