Peace Officer’s Memorial

The ten men shown above gave the ultimate sacrifice in 2008. On May 8, 2009, I (along with a multitude of other Officers, families, friends, and citizens) made the trek to Sacramento to attend the Peace Officer’s Memorial.

The day started out meeting up with a dozen or so other Motors for some breakfast and then we ponied up and rode to the CHP Academy. At 0900 hours, we made the long, slow ride from the Academy to the State Capitol with all the lights a-blaze. It was incredibly moving to see so many people lining up along our route (which stretched for a number of miles). We saw people of every description. Some waved, some held signs thanking us, some smiled, some saluted, some held their hands over their hearts. But, to a person, they all appeared to be there to support us and the fallen.

It’s weird, and maybe a little sad, that I look forward to events like this. Obviously, I’d prefer to never have to attend one again, but I think we all know that won’t be the case. I look forward to them for the camaraderie it emboldens inside of us. You end up seeing folks you haven’t seen since that last Recon class or since the last year’s Memorial. You get to mix in with dozens of other agencies. You get to check out the latest gear, equipment, uniforms, Motors, etc. Personally, I think cops should just stop getting killed and we’ll just have a big ass BBQ every year so we can hang out and bullshit for a day.

After catching up with fellow Officers for a bit and everyone had arrived, the procession started. The Governator walked out along with other government cronie types. Then, the families started. It’s the part I hate. Seeing a five year old son wearing his Dad’s Medal of Valor absolutely breaks my fucking heart. It’s a terrible sight to behold. And then I notice he’s holding his seven year old sister’s hand and Mom is walking behind them trying to stay strong. I don’t know how she does it. She is stronger than I am.

Once the families are all settled, the talking heads stand up for their noon news sound bites. At this point, I tend to zone out and just look around. I take in the sheer volume of people that turned out to show their support. I look up at the Capitol building and see the sniper teams on the roof. We’re there to honor ten men…and we’re still working. Amazing.

I am brought back to the present when I hear the 21 gun salute and Taps hauntingly played by three trumpets spread out at three different locations around the square. I get that feeling like a hand has reached in, gripped my heart/lungs/stomach and gave it a squeeze. I had to shut my eyes to keep the tears at bay.

It was a rough day, to be sure. But it was also a day those men deserved. God bless them and their families.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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5 thoughts on “Peace Officer’s Memorial

  1. It was a pleasure to ride home from Sac with you, bro. I always look forward to the Memorial Ride each May as well, all for the same reasons. I feel proud and sad at the same time. Seeing the 50 mounted units all in a semi-circle saluting the motors as we rode by was a sight–they looked sharp as hell and proud. I ride a little taller in the saddle in these processions it seems.

    MC, you gotta roll on the throttle quite a bit easier on that damn Jap bike when you're next to a Hog, especially an older one like mine that's seen better days. No freakin way I can make a tandem lane change with you when you blow me away like that, and we look like shit. I know you don't realize the torque that damn thing has. I just threw my hands up in the air–"oh well MC, I'll catch up in a few seconds."

  2. Great post MC. I posted the RCMP Wall of Honour on my blog yesterday. And Bro don't feel bad if you want to shed a few tears at events like this, we all do it!! I do it even if I have never met the Officer before and I'm attending. Unless you are a LEO some of your reader's may not understand it, it is a bond we have world wide. The most startling and terrifying call you can hear on radio is an 11-99!! I pray we never have to hear another, but being a member of the Thin Blue Line we both know that unfortunately that will never be the case.
    Outside of my HQ Bldg. we have a cenotaph and a Memorial and you have to pass it to get in the main doors, I still choke up everytime I pass it, as 5 year's ago I lost a dear Brother, and the following year 4 Brother's at Mayerthorpe AB..
    Trust me, it's okay to have wet eyes!! It shows you are a man and not a machine, and it let's non LEO's recognize that WE are human too.

  3. I'm usually good until Taps starts. That's my big downfall. If I'm at an actual LE funeral, the last call from the dispatcher completely breaks me.

  4. Beat and Release.. That last call spoken in dispatch brings us all inside there to tears!!

    I've never been to a funeral or memorial.. I usually am the one volunteering so others can go. (I secretly pull it up on live feed on the computer tho!)

    -Dispatcher