May thoughts from the Chief

Gerald Scherlinck

As we leave April behind and head into May, many of various faith backgrounds have recently traversed a period of self analysis, self denial, and sacrifice.  For many this period culminated in a deep faith in the victory of good over evil; in the liberation from slavery into freedom.  The themes of confronting evil; standing up to forces that seek to bring harm to the weak; standing against abuses that seek to enslave the individual or steal away human dignity and freedom; and doing so at one’s own risk, are strong during this time of year.  Faith in good; faith in the right causes; faith to protect others; faith to overcome harm; faith to protect the weak and the innocent; and faith to stand against forces that if not countered can lead to chaos and even destruction, is the means by which individuals, communities, and nations are lead to actions that often involve sacrifice; sacrifice that results in a greater good.

May is a month that contains two significant memorials for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the common good; those who heard a call, responded, and in the end never came home.

In 1962 President John F. Kennedy declared May 15th, Peace Officers Memorial Day.  Since then, congress has declared the week surrounding that date, National Police Week.  This year, Police Week is May 11th-17th.  This week is set aside to remember and pay tribute to those in law enforcement who have made the ultimate sacrifice while working in a profession that is a calling to protect, to serve, and to make a positive difference in our communities and in our nation.  In 2013 one hundred and five law enforcement personnel died as a result of duty related incidents in the United States.  So far in 2014, thirty two law enforcement personnel have died in the line of duty.  These are men and women who left their homes and families seeking to do what they believe in; who were willing to insert themselves between those that seek harm and those that otherwise might become victims; and never came home as a result.   All of us in law enforcement, as well as the members of the communities this profession serves, are challenged to carry the memories of these sacrifices with us every day to insure those valiant acts are not forgotten, are forever memorialized in our hearts, and exemplified in our own actions.

This year, National Memorial Day in the United States, which commemorates all of those who have died while serving in the armed forces of this nation, will be commemorated on Monday, May 26th. Our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, have responded through the ages to a calling, a mission, and a cause that is this nation, and made the ultimate sacrifice.  The immensity of the sacrifice that this represents is a sacred gift to all who have been, all who remain, and all who are yet to call themselves citizens of this great nation.  May the light of the hopes and dreams of all who have sacrificed for us never be extinguished; may the memories of their lives keep us centered in our own calling to make a difference and sacrifice for a greater good; and may we embrace and lift up any and all who have been left behind with our most sincere, heartfelt, and never ending gratitude.

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