Thursday, August 16, 2012

Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

Maybe it happens every day and I am just desensitized to it.  Maybe our media is focusing more and more upon tragedy so it gets reported more.  Maybe it just matters more to me now for some reason.

It seems that every day I am reading about another tragedy involving a law enforcement officer losing his or her life in the line of duty.  In the space of 3 weeks in Texas, we have had a Waxahachie police office struck and killed by a driver who is believed to have been intoxicated, a Reagan County Sheriff's Deputy shot and killed when checking on a reported suicidal man and a Brazos County Constable shot and killed while serving an eviction notice.  Add to that, today, in our neighboring state Louisiana, 2 Sheriff's Deputies from St John the Baptist Parish were shot and killed investigating the shooting and wounding of another officer.

None of these men were over 50 years old.  They all left family behind.  Many had children that will have to grow up with the memory of their daddy, not having him there by their side.  Each proudly wore their badge and went to work to protect our communities.

Don't get hung up on the fact that I am a criminal defense attorney lamenting the losses of law enforcement officers. 

First, any honest defense attorney will freely admit that while we stand to protect one set of Constitutional freedoms, the Police and District Attorneys stand forth to protect the other freedoms that we all rightly enjoy.  As was aptly explained by one law enforcement friend of mine, the "thin blue line" is all that stands between a society of laws and respect and one of anarchy.  Our jobs may occasionally force us to clash, but we all do so to protect those rights that are so dear and necessary to the continued existence of this Republic.

Second,  I am honored to count among my friends a host of law enforcement officers.  From gang officers to street cops to Sheriff's deputies, TABC agents to DPS troopers to NCIS agents, detectives to investigators to a former Texas Ranger whose infatuation with the MLB Rangers makes you sometimes wonder if he knew they weren't part of the same organization.  Each is dear to me for their own uniqueness.  All are respected for the job they choose to do for our citizens each and every day. 

We all live hectic lives with burdens and duties in them.  But, for most, our burdens and duties are not to walk amongst our fellow citizens to enforce our communal laws and worry that those that we protect may strike us down.  I just ask that you take a brief moment out of your day to pause and give thanks for the good work of these protectors...better yet, find one and tell them to their face.

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