June thoughts from the Chief

June 2014 Thoughts from the Chief

Having just completed this year’s Memorial Day Ceremony and Procession as part of the police department’s special event detail, the words, tributes, and music remain fresh in my mind as I compose this month’s article.

It was certainly a beautiful late spring morning, and the number of people that came out to participate in this year’s event was incredible and truly moving.  Hearing the various speakers reinforce foundational concepts and beliefs, such as honor, duty, freedom, liberty, a limited government, a government for the people and by the people rather than a government over the people, free enterprise, individual responsibility, family, and a nation under God, were words and ideas that very few seem willing to publicly share in our current society.  Having come from a large metropolitan area, one rarely heard such poignant reminders of the principles that formed this nation, including our faith in a vision consistent with that of our Creator’s.  Perhaps that was because it was so large and there were so many interests.  Speakers perhaps had to be careful not to offend and tended to aim for the neutral or stuck to the middle ground.  There are times to stay neutral as any of us with life experience can attest, but there is no neutrality in the 1.3 million men and women who gave their lives for the principles that they believed in; the foundational principles that separate our nation from all others.  The immensity of that number and commensurate sacrifice is so great it almost becomes hard to comprehend.  There is no neutrality in the lives forever changed and that to this day continue to be changed, when loved ones who respond to a nation’s calling, do not return.

In seeing so many people who came out and participated in the day’s events, in watching people stand up and salute as the American Flag was carried by, in hearing the applause and expressions of thanks as those in uniform passed by, it reinforced what is so special about this community; it reinforced why I am so happy my family and I decided to come here.  As one person I was riding with along the parade route said, this was a glimpse of the true heart of America.

At this time of year, I would be remiss if I didn’t convey congratulations and best wishes to all of those who recently graduated from high school and college.  For graduates, this time of year is full of promise, the anticipation of new beginnings, and the hope of the future.  It is a time of looking back, a time of taking leave, and often, a time of saying farewell.  The themes of perseverance, sacrifice, dedication, and honor that were reinforced on this Memorial Day, are themes that can be carried by our graduates as they face the uncertainties, challenges, and demands of the future.  Know that all of us who have stood with you as you grew, guided you as you looked to find your way, and so often watched in awe at the things you accomplished and the people you have become,  remain with you as you venture off into the next steps and adventures of your lives.  Like generations before, you will confront challenges, as well as incredible opportunities.   May you be strong in the face of those challenges, and may you thrive in those opportunities.  May each of you seek to do great and noble things; may you always walk humbly and show compassion; may you all truly find a calling in your life for which you can be passionate; and may you lead us down paths of hope as we turn the reigns of the future into your capable hands.

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