I was coming home from playing in Folsom late last night and started to go through my old neighborhood in Auburn. I forgot that my intended route would take meby American River Canyon Overlook. The CHP were still doing crime scene work and politely asked me where I lived and also politely instructed me to take another route. As I drove away I thought of the other officers who had either lost their lives or been wounded in the day's crime spree. I thought of the NYPD officers that were attached with a hatchet earlier this week. I thought of the Canadian soldiers that lost their lives in service to their country this week. I thought of the US soldiers around the world fighting protect their loved ones and fellow citizens. There is a reason why being the military is called being in the service. There is a reason why police officers and firefighters are called public servants. They do what the rest of us won't or can't do. They go to the danger while instructing the rest of us to avoid the danger, to separate ourselves from the danger.
Are there soldiers, police officers etc that are bad apples? Of course, there are. No one debates that. But for the very most part these are good and brave people who go to work everyday knowing that it could be for the last time. Are they perfect? Of course not. They are human beings who have volunteered for a super human undertaking. The ones who do it honestly and well are the majority and they deserve our utmost respect and occasionally our immediate compliance. The level of scrutiny they are under is ever on the increase. They ARE for the most part quite accountable. As a society, most of us have a video camera on our person at virtually all times. There are lawyers who are always ready to go after a City or an law enforcement officer at the slightest hint of impropriety. And we are a culture that now thrives on and only seems to respect disrespectful behavior and attitudes. We are ever more erratic, unpredictable and violent. And yet the uniformed peace officer is expected to be more restrained than ever. Again I am not saying they are perfect. But as citizens WE SHOULD also be expected to have some accountability and self restraint. (And for that matter, if you suspect law enforcement to already be against you for whatever reason, you should be MORE RESPECTFUL not less. What sense does it make to poke the bear that you already believe is out to get you?)
There are those who would ask why I like "them" so much. I would answer with these words from A Few Good Men. "Because they stand on a wall and say "Nothing's going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch."" And for those who know the next line, they, the military and law enforcement do "police" their own in addition to policing/protecting us. In the military, when they are caught crossing the line one thing their behavior is called "conduct unbecoming" and they are deemed UNFIT. Once again I say no military or police organization is perfect. Because no human is perfect and these organizations are all made up of humans. No one discounts that. But the good ones, and they are the vast majority, bravely protect, serve and fight the freedom and safety of us all. And by us, I mean honest law abiding people. (And even honest law abiding non citizens.)
To all of those who wear a uniform and serve your fellow citizen; I thank you! God bless and protect you! For the families of those who have given their all. We are so sorry for what you are going through. We are praying for you. Words are not nearly enough to say thank you for all you and your fallen loved one has sacrificed. Thank you for the restraint you exercise day in and day out. (Especially, yesterday , knowing that your own had fallen and the perpetrator will be given the benefit of the doubt in our court system.) Thank you for standing on that wall.
For those who have and will do harm to others, as a Christian, I do love you. But I am allowed to pray that you are brought to swift justice in this life as well the next.
I love you all, uniformed and civilian alike. May we ALL treat each other with respect, courtesy and honor. I pray God's blessing and protection on you.