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 Dad...my hero.
Today I know another family member who has taken the calling to "Serve and Protect". My niece, Katie. Also my hero.
She's a wife to Blake.