Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

May 4, 2014

Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

President John F. Kennedy used this quotation in 1962 when he signed the law designating May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the seven days that surround it as National Police Week. President Kennedy clearly understood what many of our citizens often take for granted — our most cherished freedoms and liberties could not exist without that thin blue line made up of over 800,000 professionals whose simple motto is: “To protect and to serve.”

While police officers often lament the lack of respect they perceive from the public, events like National Police Week are positive reminders of the support that they now enjoy from the communities they protect and support. Each year during Police Week, communities across the United States hold memorial services in remembrance of police officers who have been called upon to make the supreme sacrifice for their fellow man. 

Police Week gives the nation and our community an opportunity to appreciate all of those who answer the call every day to stand firm on the thin blue line that separates good from evil, right from wrong, chaos from order and justice from injustice.

Many people in the community often form their opinions of police officers during brief interactions such as when being issued a traffic ticket or being arrested. Others form an opinion based on what they watch on television. Unfortunately opinions formed from these brief experiences are often skewed and may generate a negative perception of police officers and the job they perform.

It is important for everyone to remember that police officers consider their service to their communities a noble calling. They take an oath to serve and protect no matter what the cost. The job requires missing holidays, weekends and evenings with their families. It requires that emotions, and sometimes their humanity, be kept in check, even during very stressful moments.

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