Wednesday, July 20, 2016

To Serve And Protect

There are stories almost daily of lives that are lost.  Lives that are taken.  Lives that are seemingly not given any consideration that they are anything but a body in a uniform.  I know that lives are also taken, lost, and also not given consideration that they are anything other than a criminal with intent to hurt.  Somehow we've taken it upon ourselves to be judge and jury when these things happen.  I've never faced a person with a gun or a person that I thought might want to do harm to me or my family.  I've never faced a situation in a dark alley, street, or car that would make me scared.  I've never had to make a snap decision on someone that I have to decide is a harm to others or themselves.  I'm grateful to those that do make those decisions.  I'm grateful to know I can make a call if I'm ever in a place or situation that makes me uncomfortable.  I'm also grateful to know some of those bodies in uniform as real people.  People who have families, friends, pets, hobbies, and go to work daily and put all that aside to help save others.  To serve and protect.  Are all police officers good?  Are all police officers perfect?  Heck no.  Are any of us perfect?  I doubt it.  I know good physicians, nurses, lawyers, school teachers....I also have met the opposite.   The slogan is "Black Lives Matter".  And they do.  But I say: "ALL LIVES MATTER!"    I grew up in a suburb of Chicago.  My folks moved there to build their own home in 1951.  No more apartment living where kids couldn't walk on the grass or play safe out in the street.  Everyone thought my parents were crazy to leave the city to live in the middle of nowhere.  But they knew what they could make happen there.  A small unincorporated neighborhood that slowly began to grow as others joined the movement to leave the city.  There came a time when our little town needed a police force.  My Dad was asked to be the first Chief of police in Oakbrook Terrace.   He accepted and had a couple of other volunteers to help get the force started.  They used their own cars and did this on their own time and at their own expense.  Today that little volunteer police force is now a full size, legitimate police force with cars and a station house and many men and women on the payroll.   When my Dad passed away I was very touched to see all the officers come to his funeral and give him a police escort to his gravesite and also take the time to pass through our neighborhood and our home with the whole funeral procession following.   This is my hero.

Today I know another family member who has taken the calling to "Serve and Protect".  My niece,  Katie.  Also my hero.
She completed her Bachelor's degree in criminology and went on to get her Masters and is now a police detective with the Oakbrook Police Department.  She is more than a target in a uniform.  She's a mom to these two cuties.

She's a wife to Blake.
She's my sister's daughter.
  She's a Granddaughter, a sister to her other siblings, a good friend to many, and a good person who puts all this aside to go and help others and keep the community she serves safe.  Because she works out in the "burbs" it doesn't mean it's safe.  I know she has investigated many crimes that would make us all cringe.   I also know she has to go serve warrants in the city to criminals that you have no idea how they will react to being served.  In 2004 her younger brother, Jonathon, was killed in a car accident.  She was the officer called to the scene.  Imagine going to a bad crash only to find out that the person laying dead in the snow is your brother.  She's been hurt on the job but doesn't let that stop her.  She's hoping to get to retire one day from the force.  She hopes to go out with a good record and also without injury or worse.  We pray for her daily.  I hope we say a prayer for all those that put their lives on the line.  I hope we pray for those that have been gunned down to serve some sick person's idea of revenge.  I hope we all conduct ourselves as human beings who realize that all lives really do matter what the race, religion, or beliefs may be.  We need to unite in peace and help each other and our communities to be safe and  be places where everyone can live without fear.  We need to stop the violence.  Amen.


Rick Watson said...

This one put a lump in my throat.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, YaYa!

I didn't know that your father helped establish a police department and served as its first Chief. Knowing what I do about him, that he was the type of man who sacrificed and served others, it doesn't surprised me one bit. You have every reason to be proud of your niece Katie and pray for her safety as she carries out her duty to protect and serve.

This has been a terribly violent year across America and around the world and it makes me sick at heart. In these troubled times let us pray for the good people who put their lives on the line and for the innocent ones that have been gunned down by those seeking revenge. Let us also remember to pray for the millions of people who face hate and discrimination every day of their lives because of the color of their skin. If we could walk a mile in their shoes we might better understand how they feel.

So unless
You've lived a life of
Total perfection
You'd better be careful
Of every stone
That you should throw, yeah

And yet we spend the day
Throwing stones
At one another
'Cause I don't think
Or wear my hair
The same way you do, mmm
Well I may be
Common people
But I'm your brother
And when you strike out
And try to hurt me
It's a-hurtin' you, lord have mercy

Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Hey, before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes

All lives matter including black lives. It goes without saying, or at least it should.

Thank you and have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend YaYa!

betty said...

Amen!!! I'm trying to be better about praying for police officers; certainly been praying for those that have lost their lives recently with the tragic violent events. I do admire those that choose to go into this field, knowing every day they put their lives in jeopardy. I will pray for your niece as well.


Debby said...

Tears in my eyes. I wish I could write this about my son. He is under cover --- and I don't dare mention this.
Your words are so right on the spot. I'll pray for your niece'so safety.
I think there is such a lack of respect beginning at home .
Today I was lost . I asked a young lady that was at the car wash directions. She got out of her car and using her cell phone walked over and helped me. Different races helping each other. The way it should be.

Kay G. said...

This is such a post that I wish that the TV news would read it on the air!

Sweet Tea said...

I so enjoyed reading your words - so full of wisdom.
God bless all who serve.
Your Dad was obviously an amazing man. Wonderful that
the work he began still continues on. What a legacy.
May Katie be blessed with safety and protection
as she works to make this world a better place.
Thanks for sharing this with us.

Susan Anderson said...

I appreciate them and hope that Katie will be watched over and protected as she serves.

This was such a lovely, heartfelt post.