Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Monday, August 23, 2004

a sad day

Today has been a sad day in my hometown; last week, an Indianapolis police officer gave his life against an armed person who was shooting at anything that moved near our neighborhood. The person was eventually killed by a SWAT trained officer, who really had no other choice to save his fellow officers (many of whom, like him, had been wounded by the person) and the early morning sleeping populace.

I'm enclosing an email I sent to a newscaster at our local news radio station. This newscaster hosts a talk show about the day's news during the evening. Whether he uses the email or not is up to him, but I couldn't help but set some thoughts down about my feelings on this event:

Due to work considerations, I was unable to participate in the funeral for Officer Laird today. However, that didn't keep me from remembering another police funeral, over two decades ago, that I covered while working in broadcast news in Terre Haute, for another officer killed in the line of duty. Then, as now, I can't help but feel that it takes a special person to be a cop. We as a public tend to take it for granted that the men and women in blue will show up when we dial 911, or when we flag down that patrol car cruising our neighborhood. I doubt that we take the time to really think about the chances these people take each and every day they put on the uniform and badge.

IPD South District, IPD as a whole, Marion County, and the entire law enforcement family has lost a shining star...a brother in arms....a friend. The Southside, of which I am a resident, has lost a friend and protector. Little Kaylee has lost her father, and Mrs. Laird has lost her friend....her husband. There are no words to discribe the loss and hurt they feel.Watching the long, sad procession of patrol cars following the hearse, even on tape delay, brings the same sense of loss and sadness that it did for me so many years ago.

The cops who served with Officer Laird, the black bands across their badges, standing at silent attention as their comrade was carried to the hearse and later to his final resting place at the cemetary made all the more difficult to stand not only by the August heat, but by the public attention paid to their loss. Watching the honor guards and color guards carrying out their duties while trying so very hard to reign in their tears made me weep; this despite not ever having met Officer Laird.

We as a public tend to be highly critical when we see the cops use their lights to run a light, or speed by us on the interstate, or stop us for speeding, or many of the other complaints we voice or think on a daily basis. There is no promising that we in the public won't continue to be critical again. But, perhaps, as we begin to criticize, we'll remember that when called upon to do so, these very people we complain and grumble at are the ones who will lay down their lives to protect ours, and perhaps we'll be less negative in our criticism, and take the time to say "thanks" to that cop for doing his or her job.


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