By Ed Meckle, Retired LAPD
Recently a short story on TV prompted this:
I saw a woman cry this morning. She was a young mother of two, sitting for a TV interview.
She was a nurse who has been working 12-hour shifts at a NY hospital. She hadn’t seen her family for weeks and had been staying over in the city for fear of infecting them.
She was crying because she was bone tired.
She was crying because she had seen so many around her die. She cried because her youth and inexperience with death of this magnitude had not prepared her.
She cried for the very young and the very old. She cried for those who had no one to cry for them and died alone.
She cried because she was confused, because she did not know which way to turn or what to do next.
I wish I had a happy ending for this tale, but I don’t. All I could do was cry with her because I, too, had no answers
Some people cry not because they are weak but because they have been strong for too long.
If you have never sweat, bled, or cried for someone you do not know, then you do not have even the faintest idea of what we are all about.
Some people spend a lifetime wondering if they “made a difference.”
First responders and LEO’s do not have that problem.
No, my friend you really didn’t have a “job,” it was a calling. Not 9 to 5 but 24/7.
You lived it, you breathed it, you loved it and would die for it.
It was your passion, your mistress even on the worst of days. Your time on the job were the “best/worst” days of your life.
You were “alive.” You lived for the nights you can’t remember and for the friends you can’t forget.
It is not that we can while others can’t. It is because we did when others did not.
It was not the sweltering days, endless cold nights, nor working while others slept or celebrated. It was not the lies, the mindless hatred, indifferent public nor the verbal abuse.
It is not the misrepresentation by the press, nor betrayal of the politician. It is not the senseless violence seeing the unseeable, doing the undoable.
It is not running to the sound of the gun nor dancing with some dirtbag.
It is not walking into darkness seeking the unknown. Not for love of my partner, the high-speed chase the foot pursuit nor facing down an unruly crowd.
But it is how much we loved it and that dear God, that is what makes us who we were.
THE POLICE: Winston Churchill said it best. “Never in the field of human conflict, has so much been owed by so many to so few.”