BY COLONEL DANNY FUHR, UTAH HIGHWAY PATROL HQ
It was nearly six years ago I sat in a large auditorium at the feet of an American Hero. He was only standing before us because two others sacrificed their lives to let him live.
His name was Mike Durant, famously known for his Black Hawk helicopter crash, and movie to follow “Blackhawk down”. Two men observed his fate as he sat in his wrecked helicopter, with broken bones and bleeding wounds, the enemy approaching him to finish him off. Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart knew the chances to save Mike, or themselves were slim to none. These were men of service, honor, strength, and dying loyalty. They saved Mike from his peril, but did so by giving their lives in the process. I am sure that if they were to do it all over again they would. These men valued the lives of others over their own. The gratitude that Mike felt was overwhelming. He was alive today because two men gave their lives to him. Mike understood the sacrifice made by Gary and Randy, and each day lives his life in honor of these two great men.
I hope we as a society never lose perspective of the sacrifice the men and women in law enforcement/military uniforms make for all of us. Many times we take for granted the ability to take our children to the park, go to the shopping centers, drive our cars on roadways or attend events without the fear of being victimized. Of course we do not live in a perfect world and bad things do happen. It is reassuring to know that there are a group of men and women who will respond to fight for the victims, intervene with those causing harm and try to restore order in very chaotic scenes.
Every day these men and women in uniform put their lives on the line and sadly over 100 per year never make it home to their families. They understand the sacrifice they are making. They know that some day they may have to put their lives on the line so someone else may live. My hope is that we as a society will never forget the sacrifice those in uniform make for all of us each day. What a tragic world it would be without them standing on the wall watching out for all of us.