Sunday is this country’s annual National Peace Officers Memorial Day. We have these obscure dates that come up with very little fan fair, but there are some that really should get more recognition. For us, National Peace Officers Memorial Day is definitely one of those days.
These ceremonies date back to 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation making May 15 Peace Officers Memorial Day. Now the entire week is known as Police Week.
It takes a really special person to be a law enforcement officer. It is a calling much more than it is a job. On a daily basis they know that they could be running forward into a bad situation while others are running away from it. They know that every day when they leave their family they are going out to keep them, and others safe from harm, and in some cases safe from themselves.
In 2015 alone, a total of 128 peace officers died in the line of duty — 39 by gunshot — and already this year, there have been 35 deaths — 17 by gunshot — in the line of duty nationwide. Thankfully, none in Bladen County are part of those numbers.
None of us have jobs where that kind of possibility is a daily concern.
There has been a lot of public scrutiny of police officers across the nation. Some of that has been deserved. Just like in all professions, there are a small percentage who are just not good people. Again like most professions, the overwhelming majority are good honest people just trying to do the right thing.
As evidence by last weekend’s annual Kids Appreciation Day by the Elizabethtown Police Department, as well as the work being done by the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and area town police departments in our schools, law enforcement agencies are trying to interact with the community in a positive and uplifting way. It’s probably the best part of the job for many of those who enforce the law.
Take time this weekend to remember those who have given their lives so that yours would be safer. If you see a police officer, take the extra 10 seconds to walk up and thank them for their service and for the sacrifice they are making for all of us.
And although Sunday is marked on the calendar as the day we celebrate our peace officers, we should remember the officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty and express our appreciation for the dedicated men and women who keep the peace every day. Our law enforcement officers are due our thanks for putting their lives on the line 24/7 for our safety and security.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The law enforcement officer who puts their life on the line with no superpowers, no X-ray vision, no super strength, no ability to fly and, above all, no invulnerability to bullets, reveals far greater virtue than Superman — who is only a mere superhero.” (Eliezer Yudkowsky)