May 15: Peace Officers Memorial Day
We quietly curse and glance at our speedometer when we spot the radar cruiser up ahead, or the delay in our personal schedule their DWI stops may cause us. But very few of us would volunteer to walk into the shadowy areas of the human condition and confront the sometimes homicidal nature of those who choose to break the law.
We judge too quickly often at the dashcam video that shows the officer protecting his own life on a roadside stop and those videos go viral and are seen millions of times, unlike the videos of Peace Officers saving a child from a burning wreck, or rescuing hostages from some other crazed husband threatening to kill their family.
Seems like in the past few years our Peace Officers have come under more frequent and deadly attacks, not as a sidebar to another crime taking place but as a direct assault on them simply for caring enough to put on the badge.
The two leading causes of Peace Officer deaths as you can imagine are gunshots and automobile accidents. In 2017, fifty-two men and one woman wearing the badge were killed in the line of duty.
They call themselves the 'thin blue line' and it is razor thin. It's the line between all-out chaos and a civilized society.
We've all been guilty of criticizing cops at one time or another, for most of us as we're slowing to a stop on the side of the freeway, anticipating a large fine and feverishly thinking of some excuse as to why we just had to be traveling 15 mph over the posted speed limit. But again, few of us would put on the badge and even approach strangers in a vehicle.
President John F. Kennedy on October 1, 1962, set aside May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day.
These are men and women who have eschewed the pursuit of great riches or fame in order to serve Us. They have moms and dads, brothers and sisters, wives and children. They're human beings just like us, though we too often expect them to be superhuman.
Today, take a moment to reflect on those that laid down their lives for us and a civil society in the maintenance of that thin blue line.
To the fallen, you servants may you rest in the Peace and the Glory of God.