Opening Eyes at Police Week

Police week. It’s incredible to me how, even a year after I attended for the first time, the images still stir such powerful emotions in me. As the wife of a police officer, I have always been aware of the possibility that my husband may be killed in the line of duty. However, this is something that I usually keep locked in the back of mind and I try not to think about.

My first police week opened my eyes to a world I knew existed, but had never experienced. For a brief moment, a veil was lifted and I was allowed to see inside an officer’s world.

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Thin Blue Line Police Officer’s Memorial. (NLEOM)

So many times I feel like my husband tries to protect me from this world, and rightfully so. It’s full of heartache and danger. But during my first police week trip to DC, I got to see the other side. I saw the PRIDE and HONOR and REMEMBRANCE these officers had for fallen friends. These words have far greater meaning when there are strong memories and emotions attached to them. Their description goes beyond what I am able to articulate.

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2018 Roll Call of Heroes. (Photo courtesy Cathy and Javier Bustos)


I watched these officers prepare each day for the events they were attending, taking great care to make sure each pin was properly placed. I watched their stoic expressions while they stood wreath duty, practicing before their shift because they were determined to make it perfect.

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Firefighters paying respects during the 2017 National Police Week Wreath Laying Ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 15, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Lopez)

Moreover, I watched them walk the survivors to their seats at the vigil as they tried to make them as comfortable as possible. I watched them laugh and talk at Murphy’s Irish Pub. I watched them salute their brother at the memorial service.

They allowed me in their world for one week. Throughout every day one thing remained the same. Their grief never faded. I could see their fallen brother when I looked in their eyes. This week was about him. They were determined to show him the respect and honor he deserved.


(Photo courtesy Detective Juan Beltran DHSPD)

We came home and life returned to normal, but I know without a doubt these feelings don’t fade. This week is made to honor the fallen, but these officers honor the fallen everyday.

– Em C