National Police Week is a collaborative effort of many organizations to honor the law enforcement community. However, for those within this community, this family, there are different layers and depths and emotional stirrings which are evoked as National Police Week makes its way to us each year. It is ceremony, remembrance, and reflection for some. It is images of paper against stone, the etching of names on to forever keepsakes. It is a sea of candlelight against the night sky. It is family coming together in honor of those who have gone before them.
Those who have chosen this path of protecting and serving will tell you their truth. They seek no glory for their dedication to their calling, recognition has never been a prerequisite for their determination, and appreciation will never dictate their level of commitment to law enforcement and the communities they serve.
However, it will always be those brothers and sisters of law enforcement and those families who have lived through the loss of one of their own, who will be the first ones to pause to honor the heroes who have given their lives. It is when I think of them, the everyday heroes still with us, who give honor to the phrase “Never Forget” that my faith in this blue family is brought back to that level of pride for who we are, for who we should be.
There are those who are truly called to this life, compelled by that inner pang which directs them to a life of sacrifice of self for the sake of others. I am one of those wives whose officer who was born to wear the badge. I have been the wife to slide my foot under the covers to stir him from the monsters in the night. Fifteen plus years of monsters, few of whom I will ever know by name.
I am the wife, like so many, who knows fully a bad day before a word is ever spoken. I am a wife who understands there is something extraordinary in who they are. They will never feel that of themselves, and it is that very reason that those of us who love them, and those of us who support them, must never forget the truth of their lives.
“It is not how these officers died which made them heroes, it is how they lived”.
Vivian Eney Cross, Survivor
Perhaps we should all respect and appreciated them for the daily sacrifices made while there were still living a life dedicated to protecting and serving others. Perhaps we may all celebrate their lives more as they live them – before we have lost them. Our officers need our daily support. Food for thought during National Police Week.
Melissa Littles is a published author and activist for law enforcement officers. Her books and blogs are have become a staple for many new academy classes and law enforcement support groups. With her legal background she has dedicated her efforts to legislative reform in sentencing laws for the benefit of first responders. Her other focus is LE Family Morale through speaking events and family workshops. Melissa is married to Officer Bervis Littles, a sixteen year veteran officer and member of the Edmond Police Department. They live in Edmond, Ok and have four children. Visit Melissa’s website at http://www.thepolicewifelife.com/