First Responders Memorial Day

May 15th, 2018 was Officers Memorial Day.  It’s a tribute to the first responders who have given their lives in protecting and serving their communities.  Our small town has been fortunate.  We have not lost an officer, firefighter, or EMS person on the job.  But our Chief of Police leads a service recognizing those who have given their lives.

It’s a simple program.  They start with raising the flag, then lowering it to half-mast.  The honor guard is very impressive, led by a marine who is now an officer in our city.  We then had a brief statement by the Chief and his counterpart from the city next to ours.  Then the Chaplin held a prayer, then a moment of silence.  Finally, a gentleman started playing the bagpipes.  He played Amazing Grace.  As he came to the end of the first verse, he started walking away, representing the loss of the first responders.  You could see how moving it was in the small gathering of first responders and civilians. 

One of the things that has burned into my brain, is the video of the officers in Dallas when an unhinged person opened fire on them during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest march.  The officers were being shot at but ran to protect the people in the march.  They ran into a place that we would have run away from.    

I respect the discipline they displayed.  The commitment to the community they work in every day.  I respect the fact that they are willing to put their lives in the line of fire to protect ours.  I don’t believe there is any higher order of sacrifice than the willingness to protect others.

The city I live in is a peaceful, quiet community, and most feel the police job here is not too dangerous.  This year we have had several incidences that would prove that incorrect.  Not from people in the community, but from people who drive through.  We are at the junction of three major highways.  We have over 50,000 cars a day pass through here, and not all of them are here for fun.

I respect our first responders.  I know most of the police force personally and they all have families that need them to come home safely every night.  I wanted to recognize their efforts and of those that work around the country.  Thanks for what you do!

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