A Hero Gone, But Not Forgotten!
It has been a while since I have written, but I feel very compelled to make sure I post this particular blog. It has taken me several days to write this and am at a loss for words. Those who know me, know that this is something that does not occur very often. My heart is heavy right now, and I am saddened that more people do not feel the way I do.
In just a short six or seven months time frame 3 senseless Line of Duty (LOD) Deaths have occurred in our community. I grew up with several family members who were first responders, more specifically police officers. As I get older I have more friends who have taken the oath to "Protect and Serve". It always breaks my heart when a LOD death occurs. Each and every one feels like a personal loss to me.
So I take it very personal when I read some of the readers comments on websites like ksdk, kmov and stltoday.com. How can people say that these men are at fault, because they should not pursue suspects. They are doing what they were paid to do. And regardless if these officers were following procedure or not, they did not deserve to die. I wish people would think a little more before they post comments on message boards about these brave men. Have a little respect. Remember they were someone's son, someone's husband, someone's father, and someone's hero.
There is very little respect for first responders now days. People do not yield to squad cars, fire engines or ambulances anymore. It seems as if usually most people are trying to beat them through the intersection. People on message boards, websites, musicians and many more medias and outlet encourage the attitude of "Fuck The Police". However, remember they are just doing their jobs. Maybe if more people did their jobs and committed less crime they wouldn't have such a strong dislike for the police.
(This photo courtesy of www.stltoday.com)
I was taught (even after bad childhood experiences with them) to respect the police, and I will instill the same attitude in my children. First Responders are the real everyday heroes not athletes, movie stars or musicians. While I would be terrified for their lives, I couldn't be prouder of my children if they chose to be Police Officers or Firefighters.
As part of my efforts to help my children respect and understand the sacrifices and importance of first responders, I took Fiona to watch the funeral procession of Fallen Police Officer David Haynes. As we stood on the overpass, holding a flag and watching the long and very moving police profession I couldn't help but cry. I talked to my 2 year old and told her a police officer was hurt, and now at night she includes (on her own) police officers and firemen in her prayers. There was an over pass in front of me with no one on it, and one behind us with a fire engine on it. I wondered where everyone was.
While I never knew my Great-Uncle Frank Dobler, who was a Police Officer killed in the line of duty in 1972, my mom told me many stories. Especially about his funeral and the procession. My mom said that during his funeral procession people pulled over and got out of their cars. People lined the streets. Men removed their hats, women put their hands across their hearts and there was such a showing of respect from the community. When did this stop? When did first responders become enemies? How do we get back to those days where people respected the people who swear to protect them?
This probably sounds like a lot of rambling to some, and many may disagree with some of the things I said, but this is something that I stand firm on (does not happen often). However, I set out to make people think, and maybe people will think twice before trying to beat a emergency vehicle through an intersection. And if I inspired anyone please make a donation to the backstoppers.....even if it is only $10.00. At a time like this every dollar helps.
Police Officer David Haynes
End Of Watch 3/24/2010