As a family of police officers, fire fighters and soldiers who have faced harsh realities, I can say that their reality means that sometimes evil has to be fought with evil. When those we love become those who work in the dark to serve us and protect our innocence, they must lose themselves with each bit of hate that they have to smother in order to keep the darkness from reaching those they love, and even those that have no idea what is done every minute of every day to allow us to sleep in our beautiful dreams.
Pieces of their innocence trail in every city, every neighborhood, every street, on every corner and in every unmindful soul as they stand between us and what we are never meant to see. They sacrifice their security, happiness, families, and sometimes even their humanity, to solve our problems and fight for us so that we do not have to make the same sacrifices. They take the brunt of the abused, the drugged up anger, the bullets, the punches, the ignorance, the "entitled," and they shelter us from that darkness. They protect your rights, even as you turn your back on them. And as some even falter in their steps, they still protect our dreams and our hopes.
It is funny though, my brother, the protector -- and one of the funniest humans I know. After hearing so many tales of community members spitting on police officers, my rage sent me digging for more information. I sent my brother a message telling him that NO ONE better be spitting on him. Statistics get my blood boiling about the ignorance of this mess, but I won't go there now. But, in a split second I am ready to punish anyone to protect him. Yet he offers this protection to everyone, those he loves and even to those who don't deserve his loyalty. That IS something great.
So when he says that he prefers that I stay oblivious, I know he means that he does not want me to know the obstacles he faces. If I did, it would break my heart over and over again and he does not want our pity or sorrow. He loves that his job protects my innocence, and your innocence, and he will carry that darkness with pride despite his sacrifices.
Don't misunderstand me, I do not believe that every officer deserves my loyalty. But, I do believe that no matter what, they have done something to protect my innocence, my family, my security, my humanity, my beautiful dreams.
Happy National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to all those that I love, and those that I will never know.