Legacy of Police Officers: Everyday Heroes

It is a police officer’s duty to enforce the law, to make sure everyone is following the rules in order to make society one in which we can peacefully live. Police officers also spend a majority of their time protecting people within that society: people like you and me. And the thing that we sometimes forget is that police officers are not just police officers. They are husbands and wives and mothers and fathers, and they spend their working hours protecting their own loved ones.

For those of us who don’t have the job to protect and serve others, it can be hard to imagine such responsibility. It takes a certain kind of person to perform a police officer’s job. A brave person, a person who cares more about the safety of others than their own safety, a person who can solve problems under pressure, and a person whose heart is the biggest organ in their body.

Police officers in uniform

Being on the police force often goes hand in hand with immediate danger, with having to make dramatic choices, with fearing for others’ lives, and with facing fears for their own life. Unfortunately, that fear can become real, and officers are injured, or even worse, killed, in the line of duty. A police officer puts on his or her uniform and leaves his or her house every day, without knowing for sure if they’ll make it home.

Being injured or killed while trying to protect another person is not uncommon. Over 100 officers have been killed in the line of duty every year since 1945. And while violence might come with the territory of the job description, we should all spend a little time recognizing and thanking these men and women who put themselves at risk every day.

It’s hard to pinpoint one story. To share the story of one man or woman’s life seems to gloss over the fact that each of these people is a hero. Paying respects to an individual for their hard work and sacrifice is important, and in the case of police officers, a much needed and much appreciated action.

We invite you to take a moment today to visit the Officer Down Memorial Website, where fallen officers are given tributes. Spend a few minutes reading the stories, posting comments, and being grateful for our courageous brothers and sisters in arms. You can build your own digital tribute – and invite loved ones to collaborate with you – for a fallen hero at Everlasting Footprint.

When we remember those who lose everything while protecting and serving us, we honor those who put on the uniform everyday in the face of the danger they know is out there.

 

About Liz Grear

Liz Greer, MFA, teaches creative writing, tutors students, and dabbles in ballroom dancing, book binding, paper making, and playing hopscotch between Chicago and New Jersey. She dreams of running a writing workshop in a prison, because she believes words can change things. Maybe not all things. But enough things.

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