HUDSON, N.H. (CBS) — Tragedy from across the country and the globe has converged on a small New Hampshire community. The news that Alvirne High School graduate Air Force Capt. Ryan Phaneuf died in a crash in Afghanistan came days after another hometown hero died. Newport News, Virginia, Police Officer Katie Thyne, also from Hudson, was killed in the line of duty.

Thursday, her family joined a procession by Alvirne High School where both graduated, six years apart. The school’s sign was lit up with a tribute to Thyne.

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At about the same time, Thyne’s fellow officers trickled into town from Virginia.

The Alvirne High School sign honoring Katie Thyne. (WBZ-TV)

“We traveled about 12 hours to be here,” said Officer Matt Crutcher, who was among the first by her side trying to revive her.

“Every mile, everything we’ve done, we’re doing is totally worth it because she meant so much to us,” said Sgt. Steve Pennington.

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Katie Thyne and Ryan Phaneuf. (Photo credits: CNN and Ellsworth AFB)

Thyne was killed during a traffic stop when she was dragged and pinned by a fleeing suspect. Her shift-mate Steve Swan said they shared a special bond.

“I grew up in New Hampshire. She grew up in New Hampshire. So there’s a connection there already,” Swan said. “She comes in and she’s the new girl, but she’s also got that little wit about her, always smiling.”

Back at Alvirne High, a candlelight vigil took place Thursday night. Retired Col. Kevin Grady, who taught both in his Junior ROTC program, said they were special graduates.

“Every time I hear a story of great accomplishments of one of my students, it really warms my heart, and this week has been a little bit more break my heart,” Grady said.

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Christina Hager