This past May 2013 we honored our many fallen heroes at the Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington DC and at the Arlington National Cemetery. It is never easy saying goodbye to our loved ones over and over again. The hurt never stops hurting and the empty places in our heart never seem to get filled.
During Police week there were many different ways that our heroes were remembered and their loved ones supported. One such touching event was the candlelight service at the Law Enforcement Memorial. I had the pleasure and honor to be surrounded by those that saying goodbye to their fallen heroes for the first time and many of those that have returned to honor their long gone friends and colleagues. It was an emotionally moving space of time.
As the nightfall fell upon the crowd and those in attendance lit their candles, what was once just a large mass of people, slowly turned into a vast sea of tiny glistening lights breaking the evening darkness reflecting and symbolizing the countless souls that have gone on before us.
As the names of those being added to the wall of the honored were being read and the playing of the bagpipes, the flickering lights reminded us that life is just a fire that burns in our spirits that can be go out in a moment’s notice.
Never before had I had a chance to share such a touching and memorable event with such special people. The moment was flooded with love and compassion as many donned in their agency uniforms paid respect to those that had passed on and honored those that were still here serving with pride.
Where men and women don on their uniforms every day to go out into the world to protect those they have never met. They face life’s challenges without regret or trepidation. These individuals are the hope to our existence, they show us that there is unrequited love to complete strangers. They are the heroes to their sons, daughters, wives and girlfriends, friends and family. And once a year we gather at the wall to honor those that have gone on to patrol the skies and remember those that stand watch and embrace the newly fallen heroes as they enter eternity.
Life is funny in many ways as we are born to die, but in between we choose how to live that life. And to those that have fallen in the line of duty are honored for their selfless acts, but remembered on how they lived their life.
Life is not always fair to us. We love and loose, we laugh and we cry. We see life enter this world and we see it leave. We have relationships that succeed and we have them that fail. But Life is not always fair, but we continue to strive on for a better day.
As we said our final goodbyes to our countless heroes that served our country so gallantly and honorably as a Law Enforcement Officer and members of the Armed Forces, always remember they were doing what they were called to do and there is no greater gift one can give than that of their life for another.