I've penned a few articles urging the real cops among us to be part of Police Week in D.C. each May. I continue to cling to that belief. Yes, it's a time of honor, respect, recharge, fellowship, and part of the debt of gratitude that we owe to the cops and their families who have endured the greatest of all sacrifices.
Yet, I understand that there are circumstances in a person's life that prevent them from being there. My daughter's college graduation a few years back is an example. There are dozens of valid reasons and this year we've added the burden of a soured economy to the list.
Last year, following one of my articles, I received an email that chided me for attempting to make non-participants feel guilty. The writer reminded me that there are acts and observances in places other than D.C. which give honor to the fallen. He was right.
Reflecting on that, I suppose my backside really gets chafed by cops who let Police Memorial Day (it's May 15th every year) come and go with nary a thought or moment of consideration about its deeper meaning. Ours, being a para-military organization is steeped in honor, tradition, duty, and other core values that are articulated in our Oath. Remembering and honoring the fallen is intrinsically part of being a cop.
SO, WHAT IS MY POINT?
There are two points that I'd like to drive home in this writing.
First, one cop can do his duty and pay his respects on his own. And, he needn't travel anywhere to accomplish the mission.
Second, we need to remember those who died - not on duty - but while devoting their lives to the good fight and supporting those who wage that eternal war.