We all like to laugh and joke in our day-to-day lives, but we are, at this time, in the middle of a most serious week in the Law Enforcement community. Police Week honors all Law Enforcement Officers who have been killed, or injured, in the line of duty, as an injured retired LEO friend reminded me years ago. Police Week takes place in Washington, D.C. every year.
The Memorial Wall bears the names of officers killed, and sadly, more names are added each year. There are ceremonies and other activities all during this week to honor and remember the fallen Officers and offer their families support. These are people who gave all they had to give for us…not just names to be read.
After the deaths, there are unfilled places at tables, graduations that need one ticket fewer, photographs possibly enlarged a bit in the viewfinder to create the feeling that we are looking at a picture of a whole family. These families are not whole in the way they used to be. They never will be again.
Those suffering loss…family, friends, departments…will go on…because they have to. In this way, they again honor the fallen. We can make this an easier task for them in many ways. Respecting them and remembering those they lost are two of the best ways.
Realize, too, that when we, unattached to the events move on, that they never can, in ways. We can help with the mandatory “moving on” associated with daily living, now and for years to come. In case you wonder if they have forgotten in weeks or months or years… No, they haven’t.
There will be a time that talking will help…first about the bad, then later, about the good. In time, most survivors can stand to talk about all of this, and they want to talk, in many cases. It is legitimate for you to start a conversation by saying, “I have been thinking about you and (their lost loved one), and I really don’t know what to say, but I am here.” You can elaborate later, or not at all. Just be there for them in some way.
Let’s also not forget our wounded officers during recovery, and after retirement. I have heard many stories of Officers one day being in the middle of the Law Enforcement community, and after suffering an injury or being retired, feeling pushed to the outside, lonely and unremembered. They don’t want glory. They want human contact and conversation. Beneath each badge is a person…
Law Enforcement Officers are your family, friends, neighbors. I hope there comes a time when everyone lives in a city or town where their Officers are as much, and as welcome, a part of the community as our local officers are.
Law Enforcement Officers’ work is dangerous. Their risks are many. May we give them all the appreciation they deserve.
Prayers for all our Officers’ safety…
http://www.nleomf.org to search for officers, find out more about Police Week, or join in the virtual activities.
Remembering TN State Trooper John Mann, Wilson County Sheriff’s Deputy John Musice, and Mount Juliet Police Sergeant Jerry Mundy, three of our local officers killed in the line of duty.