The Quiet Kind of Heroism

The everyday heroism of showing up and steadfastly doing what is right escapes renown, but that is the foundation of building a legacy you will be proud of.

It often seems the hidden honor of a police officer is only publicly revealed in his or her untimely loss, and then that cop's dedication to service is surprising in its depth. The truth is, what is revealed is just a slice of what runs through most of us. The true and lasting legacy of honor will be built slowly, brick by brick, in the mundane aspects of the job and personal life. It is built on being a good spouse and parent, and raising your families in a tradition of servant hood. It is built on duty and steadfastness. It is built with each act of compassion, on each positive community contact, on each genuine show of concern for someone else's problem and sincere effort to do something about it. It is built on every time you make someone good glad to see the police, and someone bad sorry. It is built on firm fairness. It is built on knowing not just what needs to be done but what should be, and then doing it.

We owe it to ourselves to concentrate on the legacies we are building, to ensure they are the kind we will look back on with pride. Even more, we owe it to the communities that rely on us, and to those - like Rodney Miller, Alan Haymaker, Thomas Wortham, Thor Soderberg, Michael Bailey, and all the others who have gone before us - who have reflected well on us through their service.

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