She passed away last Saturday in her bathtub. Whitney was considered by many to be an icon in her field of music. As an actress, she starred in very successful movies such as the “Bodyguard”, “Waiting To Exhale” and others. Everyone loved her when she belted out The National Anthem during the Superbowl. The world considered her a hero.
I beg to differ. This Sunday in Florida a true hero will be laid to rest. This hero joins an elite group of other heroes who have paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. They are the 18 law enforcement officers whom we have lost just in the past two months.
Most of the country has not seen or heard anything about their deaths. Perhaps we see a brief local news flash about their passing in the line-of-duty, but never the lead story on the national news. No flags at half-staff, no speeches from the state’s governor, no big time celebrity personality to sing at the funeral. No encore presentations showing the funeral over the weekend to highlight these heroes as husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, sisters, brothers and co-workers.
You will never see the national media cover any of the funerals of the officers. We don’t even see them at military funerals. No national news organization will do an in-depth story about their lives outside the departments they had served. These heroes have died doing what they have been called to do. Even when the odds were against them, they did their jobs with dignity, honor, and pride. They faced their enemies head on without an entourage or cameras unless it was a citizen videotaping them, even goading them, waiting for that officer to make a mistake.
Nor will they ever in most cases get a pat on the back from a society that will honor killers, drug dealers, and users as opposed to the ones who protect the very same society from the criminal elements! Law enforcement officers do all this without multi-million dollar contracts or endorsements or record or shoe deals. We are happy if we get to go home in one piece!
We are heroes who go into schools to stop a madman or madmen from killing innocents to heroes who treat the wounded. I include my brother and sister EMT’s and firefighters. No, the media will not cover us for some strange reason. I guess it’s because we haven’t won a Grammy!
The 18 that have fallen deserve more than a ten-second spot on the screen. Detective David White gave his life for Clay County, Florida and the media won’t even so much as send a reporter to cover the funeral. No Yolanda Adams, no BeBe &CeCe Winans, no choir to sing for him. No, his only satisfaction in this world is that he fulfilled Romans 13:1-4:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Most importantly, he fulfills John 15:13:
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
He, along those of us who go out there every day into the unknown, strives to fulfill these commandments… every day.
To the ones who have fallen and to those of us still standing, we may not get what’s due us here on earth but rest assured we will get our reward in heaven. I promise!
To the real heroes!
Officer Kenneth Wise