Bless the police officers out there tonight, doing their jobs to protect and defend the people of their communities after watching the terrible news of the officer slayings in central Iowa slowly come to light throughout this long day.
Bless them for not turning in their badges and walking away over the unfathomable, blind hatred that claimed the lives of two of their brothers while they sat in their patrol cars, doing their jobs.
Bless them for swallowing their sadness and shock today and doing what they always do, serving the public, no matter what. It cannot be for the money - there are many jobs that pay more and risk nothing.
Bless them for buttoning their uniforms and going out into the streets knowing that what happened to those two officers from Des Moines and Urbandale could happen anywhere. The next door they knock on, the next car they pull over, the next squabbling couple they separate, the next dark street they patrol, knowing what could happen, with no warning. Knowing it on the day they sign up. Doing it anyway.
Bless them for caring for people of all races and backgrounds, and being willing to put their own safety on the line - even for those very people who are so quick to question, criticize and cuss those who serve them.
Bless them, for being there, in any weather, in any disaster, no matter how tired or troubled they may be at that moment.
Bless them for being one call away. Our lives depend on it. Where would we be without people like them?
Bless them, for working in our schools, for reaching out at all kinds of public awareness events, for trying to help homeless people reach assistance, for picking up the pieces when we are broken and bleeding, for sheltering children caught in domestic crises. For bearing the emotional scars of the inhumanity they are exposed to without complaint, and still believing in the greater good within people.
Bless them for somehow continuing, while five officers are murdered sitting in squad cars in New York City, five more lost in Dallas, three in Baton Rouge, two in Des Moines, 14 so far this year alone gunned down in cowardly ambushes… Assassination of police officers simply because they are police officers. The victims are not statistics, not to them. They are family.
Bless them for keeping pride in a noble profession,
at a time when glory-hungry athletes protest them and general anti-police sentiment seems to run rampant. When a tragic mistake in one case out of thousands in one community in a vast country will be unfairly blamed on everyone who wears a uniform everywhere.
Especially bless the loved ones of two fine officers who gave their lives today in the profession of helping others. For one life lost, many are touched forever. Sergeant Beminio was a father of three, with a distinguished record of working with students in two high schools as well as his patrol duties. He always had a smile for everyone he encountered, they say. Officer Martin had barely had a chance to start a promising career. As a kid growing up in Rockwell City, he was an Eagle Scout and the one who always stepped in when someone was being picked on by a bully. He was so proud to wear a badge. His parents had to answer that knock on the door in the pre-dawn darkness. They probably knew what that knock meant before they could even be told.
Bless the people too who have gone out of their way to express their grief for the fallen officers in Des Moines and Urbandale, and to reach out to the others who serve in all the communities to express their sorrow and support. Too often, we take all the people who protect us for granted until there is a crisis. Until we’ve lost one. Then we realize they were and are the reason that crises so rare in our comfortable, so insulated lives.
We cannot explain what happened in Des Moines today. No, it was not politics, or race, or gun laws, or social strife, or a flag - no matter how many try to twist a tragedy to advance their own agendas.
It is just plain madness. We are helpless to try to make sense of senseless violence. Now and always.
Nothing we can do will bring the two young officers back, or console their loved ones and peers.
All we can do is appreciate those who work to protect their communities, and do what we can to help them in that mission. We are not enemies, we are not opposed. We all are after the same things, or at least should be. To make our communities safe, and welcoming, for all.
In these troubled times, with too much division and hate, bless everyone who tries to make things better.
Thank you officers, for being out there tonight. Especially tonight. Our thoughts are with you. Be safe.