I read somewhere that a person stated he didn’t believe in God. The response was that it doesn’t matter, God believes in you. He loves you without demanding or needing love in return. Faith matters because it inspires people to act and raise their sights beyond themselves. As emergency responders we see this on a regular basis from within our organizations and from around us. These fallen heroes were just doing their jobs some would say, I say they were inspired to act and raise their sights beyond themselves.
None of our fallen entered into this profession thinking it wasn’t dangerous. They understood as we, who continue to serve and understand all the more. We remind ourselves of this each day and each shift that we work. Some of us carry little reminders of our fallen so that we will not forget them or of our ever present vigilance on the job. We draw inspiration from these reminders. We must continue this inspiration and acknowledge that these losses were not spent in vain. They were given on the altar of freedom. They were given with honor and their deaths reconfirm the notion that at times we must take up an enormous burden.
It really bothered me to think that at one moment we can all be standing around in our respective stations, laughing and teasing, and the next time I see you, you may be fighting for your life, dying. I am talking to you, we are kidding around with one another, we are ignoring one another because we are upset about something stupid, or we are making plans to get together for lunch, and we both leave to go our separate ways to start working. To go out serving and protecting. And the next time I see you, you are taking your last breath and the lights of your eyes are fading and turning milk white. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and loved ones of our fallen heroes. Thank You for your enormous sacrifice. As it says on the National Wall “In Valor There Is Hope”.
My sincerest appreciation goes out to all my fellow officers, my brothers & sisters of the FOP who take it to the streets every day and night, fighting against crime, against complacency and against bureaucracy. Some people call it a “Thin” Blue Line. The Thin Blue Line isn’t thin at all. It is as thick and strong as the last officer standing who refuses to ever allow the forces of chaos to infringe on our freedom and safety. We are inspired by those that have gone before us.
Rest in peace our Fallen Heroes. You earned it; We’ll take it from here.
John A. Lehnen