Police Week 2015 has just ended. Another week of honor and service remembrance for those gone too soon while serving their towns, state and country. The honor they deserve in a time when life as a law enforcement officer is more than a little complicated.
Typically, I am full of words to describe what I see, what I hear and how I feel during this time.
This year I struggled.
I am not sure why this has been so hard this year. Maybe it is because Frank is officially retired as an officer; maybe it is because I am watching so many of my close friends in law enforcement struggle with their jobs, their families and with their friends; maybe it is because life is just harder these days.
I watched the videos, the honor guards, the traveling of law enforcement officers as they biked across country, joining others until a contingent of officers crossed thousands of miles on the ride of a lifetime – honoring the fallen, and the injured in their wake. It is truly a time for law enforcement to band together and bring hope, strength and community to one another.
At a time when many communities are not supporting their law enforcement officers.
People are people. I support individuals with integrity and honor whether they are black, brown, white or blue. I could care less what people do for a living, how much they make, or if they want kids or don’t want kids.
I connect with, and spend my time with, people that treat others with respect.
Police Week means something different to me now these days – so many killed in the line of duty. So many families devastated by loss. And although families of injured officers are truly meant to be a part of the process, most feel left out, abandoned by their former families, and that makes it doubly hard to watch, listen and grieve with them.
I would say that we don’t feel abandoned, although little communication with Frank’s previous department is sad at times – we try not to talk about it. They must move on – we know and understand that. But we have many others that reach out, check in and truly want to keep in touch, and that allows us to feel less separated from law enforcement than many of our friends across this country.
Why is it that the injured are left alone? Why is it that the true meaning of Police Week, to include all injured officers, is not heard loud and clear alongside those that have lost their lives?
I don’t have those answers.
My heart hurts a bit for everyone – no one understands more about loss and grief than all families within the thin blue line. The brothers and sisters lost, the injured surviving pain and hardship, along with the loss of so much; the families torn apart and trying to pull themselves back together.
Next year it is probably time that we make the journey across county to honor those that have been lost. And while we are there, maybe spend some time talking about those that walk among us, still living in the shadows of the thin blue line, wanting to continue to be part of family, but sometimes just not knowing how to make that happen.
I think it is time.