We call him and all of them heroes not because they can leap tall buildings in a single bound or because they are faster than speeding bullets, obviously this one was not.
We call them heroes because when everyone else is running away from danger and bad stuff, they are the ones running in, they are the ones that come running like a bat out of hell with lights and sirens blaring when you or I are in crisis and we call for help.
They are the ones that pull us over when we are driving like an idiot, somehow we think we are exempt from the rules or above the law. They do this because it’s their job and they do it because they’ve seen what happens when people like us try to overcome the laws of physics and go around the curve too fast and end up in a heap of broken glass, twisted metal and human f lesh at the bottom of a ravine.
They are the ones that suffer through repeatedly dealing with the automatic f lood of adrenalin whenever a call comes over the radio. That hormone that readies the body for fight or f light, whichever will keep them alive to go home one more time.
They are the ones that come to the rescue when our child is missing and show tender compassion while doing their job until that child is found all the time thinking about the child that didn’t come home and praying this won’t be one of those times then they hug their own tighter at the end of the shift.
They are the ones haunted by the visual of the ashen face child who wouldn’t respond to their efforts at CPR after a car crash. Or the ungodly cries of a mother standing by pleading for them to save their baby when they didn’t think they needed to be in a car seat because it was just a short trip.
They are the ones that try their best to keep the evil that lurks around every corner in check so we can live our normal relatively safe lives. They are the only temporal thing that stands between you and I and complete chaos and evil.
Some on facebook and in the media would point out and emphasize every bad choice or mistake that any single one of them ever did in their lives and in an attempt paint them all in an unf lattering light. Just read the comment threads on any story involving law enforcement. You’ll see it. The two-faced anonymous digs, snide remarks and outright hate against officers that pepper those boards make me ill. They make me fear for the safety of all officers going out into such a hostile community at the start of every shift.
There are those who will second guess everything an officer does, they cry foul for months and years after every life and death decision that the officer only had a fraction of a second to make. They are certainly not above reproach, but they are OVERWHELMINGLY GOOD, and they collectively do not deserve that kind of treatment from anyone, let alone those not willing to do it themselves.
I just ask that for a few days at least we can respect and honor the life of yet another hero that was taken today. I know that my words won’t change this tide of police haters, but maybe it can make us a bit more aware.
I pray that things like this will soften the critical judgments that law enforcement have to live with each and every day. I hope we can step back for a minute and understand that under the badge and Kevlar, these men and women are just people with
families and friends, dreams and fears just like us. My heart aches for the young wife who is a widow way too soon. For the time when she’ll have to sit her young son down
and explain why his daddy isn’t coming home. For the long days and lonely nights that will pepper her foreseeable future. I don’t have the words to comfort her or her young son. There just aren’t words for that.