Monday, February 16, 2015

Etched Everywhere

"Those that touch our hearts stay in our hearts forever."

You thought that by vandalizing a memorial you could tarnish the memory of the fallen? Seriously?

Sixty eight of Denver's Finest have died in the line of duty. The latest was Celena Hollis, shot while working extra duty at a jazz festival in City Park. She had served in Detroit, had an affection for red shoes and left a daughter.

Dave Roberts passed in 2011 from the effects of a gunshot wound sustained in 1985. The suspect asked to have a handcuff loosened and Dave, who was a great guy, obliged.

Bruce VanderJagt was killed by a man with a rifle at the tail end of a pursuit that began in the mountains. His wife spoke at his funeral, of what a loving man he had been. Several thousand people from all over the country attended.

Ron DeHerrera had just begun field training when he was killed in a car accident. A stolen vehicle running from officers struck the side of his patrol car. He lingered for several days before passing. His funeral was held at a church on Colfax Ave in early April. The sanctuary was packed with officers long before the last of us arrived, so we stood outside at attention in long rows until the service began. Typically April, the day began cool but with a perfect blue sky. Warm sun finally bathed the thousands filling the street while, inside, friends and family said good bye. Clouds rolled in, as did the sleet. Several among our ranks were designated to retrieve coats. The rest stood firm until Officer DeHerrera led a miles-long procession.

If you think desecrating stone tarnishes the memory of the brave men and women we hold in our hearts....

You are a special kind of stupid, aren't you?

We don't remember them because their names are on a wall. We remember them because their faces, like the many Colorado police officers who have fallen, are etched in our hearts. They are heroes, sworn to protect even you with their lives, if necessary.

What do you stand for? Oh, you threw paint.

Well, I don't know your name. I won't make any special effort to remember it. You don't count.

The people whose names are on the memorial do.

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