FIT@50 / week 62
Every May, the nation recognizes National Police Week. Thousands of cops from hundreds of countries gather in Washington DC at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund moment to pay respects to officers fallen in the line of duty.
I’ve been to Police Week numerous times over 26 years, and visit the names of 7 personal friends on the granite walls every time I visit DC. One year I even cycled 300 miles over 3 days with the Police Unity Tour to raise awareness and funding for the memorial.
Cops place a high premium on the honoring of their fallen. I think part of it is because with every officer we see killed in the line of duty, we realize that at most any time, that officer could’ve been us.
Despite the realization that our life is just a trigger pull, a blade’s slide, a car crash, or a disaster away from having our name engraved on the granite wall, we want to know that we too will be honored for public service.
There is a saying engraved on one of the walls of honor – it reads, “It’s not the way they died that makes them a hero. It’s the way they lived.”
This is the first time in my entire adult life that I’ve been out of law enforcement during Police Week. I have to say it was difficult watching from the outside. It wasn’t the uniform that drove me to help others, or to grieve over the loss of fellow officers. It was a human desire to help.
It’s also that humanity that has stirred my emotions all week. I still miss each of my 7 friends who died in the line of duty. Actually, I grieve for the 20,789 names of American law enforcement officers senselessly killed while doing only what we all swore to do – Serve and Protect.
Do I enjoy retirement – Yes, but I miss the fraternity of my blue family. Mostly, I miss my friends – Rest In Peace Brothers and Sister Blue.
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