Right now, there are some police officers surrounding a building, hoping that the person that just shot six people this morning will surrender and come out.
But, who is to say what will happen in the next few moments.
Because, someone snapped today. And for whatever reason, however his mind took off, he made some very devastasting choices and, instead of looking for a safe way out of his own circle of anger or confusion or despair, he decided to make sure that some folks would not see another sun coming up in this world.
I am not going to try to go into why and how people make these kinds of decisions that cause such terrible heartache to families and loved ones and friends. Or why it is happening more and more frequently (I have my opinions but so does everyone else…that isn’t my point right now.)
The real tragedy is not that we differ, but that we may handle our differences in ways that cause irreversible, overwhelming pain to those who deserve better. And before this latest scene is over, there may be even more lives lost. All because someone snapped and made the decision to handle his own pain by hurting someone else.
What I really want to say instead, is, thank you.
To those police officers, those SWAT teams, those rescue workers, the firemen, the EMT’s, the doctors in the ER and the nurses who have to deal with the aftermath…the teachers in schools,the principals, (so many others that I have probably missed and forgotten)…
THANK YOU for putting your life on the line. So that the rest of us can have one more birthday.
Maybe you haven’t faced a bullet (yet) and Lord willing, you will never have to. But each day you get up and drink your coffee and put on your badge, or your uniform, or your face mask, or your rescue gear, or you take up your clipboard (or whatever serves for a clipboard these days) …
and you head out.
Every day you keep putting one foot in front of the other, every day you face the possibility of another event that might just take a life, (and it may even be your own),
but you do it anyway. Whatever you have to face that day, you face it. With honor. Resolve. (and maybe, you just plain grit your teeth),
And you go in. And it might be that day, to face the screaming sirens and the crackling radios and the horrified faces, the confused and angry and pain-filled eyes of hurting moms and dads and brothers and uncles, grandmas and neighbors, and the blood, sweat and tears.
Maybe some mornings when that first call comes in, there is a little bit of dread in your heart, but you still have the courage to go to work that day anyway, so that the rest of us can get up in turn, drink our coffee, and head out, all the while being confident that, if need be, we can call a number that starts with nine and ends with one… and know that someone will be there to rush to our aid.
And if you are asked, or thanked, you simply say, “it’s my job.”
So, I am saying thank you now.
(You are my hero.)