Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fallen Officers Memorial Service

Police Officers Prayer
Oh Almighty God, whose great power and eternal wisdom embraces the universe.
Watch over all policemen and law enforcement officers.
Father in Heaven please give them the strength, courage and perseverance to endure
The unjust condemnation, danger, and physical abuse to which they are at times subjected.
We recommend them to your loving care because their duty is dangerous.
Dear God, grant these brave men your almighty protection,
Unite them safely with their families after duty has ended.

Photo by Brian Kovacs
Over the years through my former radio show “Talking Guns” I was able to speak with officers from all over the country. One of my favorite guests was always Paul Pawela, Director of LE Training who would talk to my listeners about what National Police week is and what the American Police Hall of Fame represents.

Well National Police Week has once again come and gone but this time I had the honor of traveling from Arizona with Brian Kovacs CEO of Less Lethal Concepts to attend the American Police Hall of Fame’s Memorial Service for Fallen Officers. This ceremony is held annually and each year, sad to say, many more names are added to the roll call.
Photo by Brian Kovacs

Driving up to the facility the Hill of Remembrance was covered with over 12,000 flags representing each family survivor currently in the Hall of Fame programs. They also represent the 3, 353 fallen officers associated with those families. It was a moving sight.  In the facility is a beautiful statue of an officer with two children surrounded by the wall of names. And during this week that room in particular is filled with flowers.

As we waited for the ceremony to begin families from all over the country started arriving, police officers in their dress uniforms began to form up, bagpipers stood at the ready and you could hear the harness of the mule drawn caisson being prepared.  Everyone was there to show their respect for the brave officers across the country that made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend the members of their communities.

And yet there was NOT one local television or radio station there to document this somber occasion. Not one representative from the national media to mark this solemn event. Especially as other officers continue to bravely go out and put themselves in harm’s way each and every day. Yet this story is not considered news worthy.

When the caisson rolled in followed by the rider less horse the ceremony began. It was somber, respectful and simple. Janna Ivey shared her beautiful voice and musical talent with a song written for the occasion, a poem was read and the pipes played “Going Home” before the reading of the names.

As each name was read the families of those able to attend would stand. The only
color, religion or ethnicity these families had in common were “BLUE”. It was heartbreaking to see how many children would never see their fathers, mothers or other family members again or the mothers and fathers who would never hear the voice of their loving child again.

When the pipes played Amazing Grace and the 21 gun salute began emotions were raw. Then out of the darkness a lone bugle played “Taps”.

By the time “God Bless the USA” was sung patriotism was high. It was very emotional and throughout I could only think that another name would be on that list next year from Arizona as Officer David Glasser was killed in the line of duty.

Photo by Brian Kovacs
This was a wonderful tribute to these officers and their surviving families but I can’t help but think that the best tribute would be the respect from the people of the communities across the country instead of the targets each and every officer carries on their back.

May God bless them every day they step out of their homes to protect and defend you.

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