The next time you see someone in a law enforcement uniform, think about this:
That person may already have done more to protect you and your family than you will ever be called upon to do yourself.
That should fill us all with humility, respect and gratitude.
It’s an important thought to keep in mind at anytime, but particularly right now. It’s been an especially tough week for our friends and protectors in law enforcement nationally, regionally and right here at home.
Of course there was the brazen assassination attempt on Republican members of Congress on Wednesday at their baseball practice by a crazed leftist. Thank God, with the protection of Providence and the Capitol Hill Police, no one but the assassin was killed – though one of the officers was wounded, and Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana was critically wounded and underwent several surgeries.
The day before, two Georgia prison inmates – Donnie Rowe, 43, and Ricky DuBose, 24 – managed to overpower and kill two correctional officers on a transport bus and escape. By one account during their several days on the run, “the pair allegedly stole five vehicles, robbed two homes, tied up and terrorized an elderly couple and led police on a chase where speeds reached 100 mph.”
Fortunately, an alert homeowner in Tennessee heard the desperate killers trying to steal his vehicle – and, thank heaven, the homeowner was armed and able to hold them for capture.
Christopher Monica, 42, who had two children and two grandchildren, began working for the Georgia Department of Corrections in 2009. An Atlanta television station reported Monica “had begun taking on extra shifts at work to help his family, specifically so his wife wouldn’t have to work with her health declining.”
Curtis Billue, 58, a father of two and 10-year Army veteran, would’ve been with the Department of Corrections for 10 years next month.
And on Thursday, Augusta joined the week’s sad, bloody procession with the fatal shooting of off-duty Richmond County Sheriff’s Cpl. Gregory Cooke, 43, in what authorities said was a domestic dispute in the 2400 block of Lennox Road off Windsor Spring Road.
The circumstances of the shooting were said to be rather messy, but regardless, we’ve lost yet another public servant and protector. And that’s cause enough for lament.
What is it about people in uniform? Doctors and nurses, paramedics and EMTs and others in health care. Our volunteers in the U.S. Armed Forces. Officers in all manner of civil law enforcement. They serve, they protect, they care for us – and, in the case of the Armed Forces and law enforcement, they put their own lives on the line every moment of every day to protect ours.
There are protectors, and then there are the protected.
May the latter never forget the former.