I just returned home from my annual pilgrimage to Washington D.C.   I have an article deadline staring me in the face.   I had already planned to write about my Police Week experience.

But then, I paused.

I realize that, over the years, I’ve probably written a million words on that very subject.  Yes, all were from the heart.  But, I figure, it’s time for something different.

THE PLACE

 I was fortunate this year: I accompanied my long-time friend and brother, Joe through the Police Week experience.  This was his first time.  I shared the experience through his eyes.

THE WALL

Ours is the only memorial in Washington which will never be finished.   Unfortunately, the names of over 300 officers were added this year, alone.  The grounds are perfectly manicured – just like a Class A uniform at its best.

 

THE EVENTS

While the week is filled with memorable events, for me, there are two which are profoundly important:  the Candlelight Vigil on Saturday, 5/13 and the Memorial Service on Monday, 5/15.

Due to the ongoing construction of the Museum, the Vigil was once again moved to the National Mall.  The Memorial Service was held in its traditional place: the steps of the Capitol.

The Capitol and other memorials of importance were witness to both events.

WAITING FOR THE START OF THE CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

MORE AT THE VIGIL

OUR BROTHERS & MY PARTNER: JOE

THE VIGIL = JUST BEING TOGETHER

THE VIGIL – A PROUD HONOR GUARD

ALL DRESSED UP & AWAITING THE VIGIL

THE POLICE MEMORIAL SERVICE

THE MEMENTOS

This is the part of the experience which is the most profound to me.  It brings the most tears.  It can bring laughter or hugs or pain in your heart so severe that words fail to describe it.

These items are the words – sometimes written with a crayon – that are straight from the hearts of the writers.  These words of love are mixed with their tears.

Together, they display a loss greater than most of us could endure.  Yet, they also put on public display the deep, abiding pride they have in the loved one who has been taken from them, so abruptly.

To the reader:  I hope that you can find a quiet spot where you can look at the pictures which follow.   I pray that you are able to fully absorb the totality of what each memento shows about the one we’ve lost as well as the ones who have been left behind.

Yes, every member of The Brotherhood shares in these losses.  But the losses of the family members shown below are unparalleled.   I hope readers will share their reactions to what they are about to see in the comment section at the end.

Read on, prayerfully – and may God bless you all.

DADDY

DAD

DAD & ME

DADDY

MATT EDWARDS

I LOVE YOU DADDY

SAD PUPPY

CONCLUSION

If you’ve arrived here, it is my sincere hope that you recognize two things:  each one of the 23,000+ officers we have lost is precious.  EQUALLY IMPORTANT:  you are precious.  No matter your role in this Brotherhood: active, retired, reserve – every one is a precious, vital member of the law enforcement community.

As a COP, more is expected of you.  And, with all likelihood, you have delivered on those expectations to the benefit of your fellow man.

We love and care for one another every day on this earth.  We are COPS.

At the bottom line, this is all about saving just ONE life.

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COPS-L is an On-Line Roll Call in your inbox each day

THE COPS LIST is a simple, single source for law enforcement news from the major news-feeds:  Calibre Press, Department of Justice/legal updates, Federal Informer on case law, Law Officer, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial News, Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP), Officer.com, PoliceOne and other relevant sources of LE news.

Officers across the nation get LE news and exchange information here.  Don from Boston PD, “I get important information days (or weeks) earlier than from roll call.”  Chris in Chicago, “I get information about the LE national community which we would otherwise not learn,” and Bob in Dallas said it’s a concise, single news source automatically delivered to my INBOX each day.”

Originally designed nearly twenty years ago for the LEO who worked part time.  It grew rapidly to include those who don’t have a daily group roll call.  Today, about 1,000 cops: career officers, part-time, active, reserve / auxiliary, retired, non-sworn and other LE support staff are welcome on COPS-L.  There is NO COST and a member can opt-out at any time.

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If you would like to learn more just SEND EMAIL.  Include your name, agency, rank/title, email and phone.  Once validated, you will receive a welcome message to COPS-L.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this message and allowing me to share my story with you.  I can be contacted with questions or input: EMAIL ME   or call me at my home office (386) 763-3000.

 

 

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