Thursday, August 20, 2009

A morning ritual ...

Deputy Johnson, one of the instructors at the academy has introduced a practice that really drives home the concept of the analogy of Sheep, Sheepdogs and wolves for me. I do find it moving, very appropriate, and I assume all the other recruits place the same thought and emotions into the request that I do.

Each morning, all recruits stand in formation and pay respects to police officers in Colorado that have died in the line of duty. There is a 20 second period of silence to pay respect and honor those whom have fallen. Following the period of silence, each recruit calls out the name of an officer that has fallen protecting and serving the communities around the state of Colorado. This happens each day. There are a couple of reasons for this memorial process. First, we pay our respects to each individual that has given their life in serving and protecting the community. Second, it truly drives home the reality of the dangers associated with the job. While showing respect to the fallen and listening to the multitude of names associated with fallen police officers, a true and cold, reality develops regarding the concepts of officer safety, the importance of training, and making sure that one understands and is able to perform all aspects of the job we are training for at the Academy.

We, as citizens of the United States and of Colorado, should acknowledge and appreciate those who have come before us and those who have given their lives in order to protect and serve. This acknowledgment is not just for police officers, but all first responders and military personnel. It is about being grateful to those who are willing to place themselves between the Sheep of the world and the wolves of the world. It is about honoring those that have paid the ultimate price to allow us the freedom of choice, the freedom of speech, and the freedom from fear that we all take for granted, especially in this country. Take a moment to thank them for their service.