Dr. Ross L. Riggs, Chief of Police Retired, Louisville Ohio Police Department ~ Director SCI, LLC
National Police Memorial Week – May 15, 2012 –Police Memorial Day
“O, how the mighty have fallen” – King David cries out, mourning the death of a valiant warrior and dear friend, Jonathon of the family of Saul. (2 Samuel 1:25) Once again, Americans come together to honor the sacrifices of law enforcement across this great nation. This week around the country and particularly in Washington D.C., near the offices of the U.S. Supreme Court, at the Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial; officers, family and friends will gather to honor the newest ‘inductees’ into this place of tribute. One-hundred and sixty-two names will be on the roll call for those killed in 2011, the third highest year since 2001 and another nearly 200 names for those from previous years whose information was just recovered.
Since 2001, 1,559 officers have been killed in the line of duty. Out of those fifteen hundred plus who have given up their lives, most were either shot or killed in a car crash. Just eight were killed by terrorist attack. Stack that number eight against the seventy-two that were killed in a matter of hours on 9-11-2001 and you see what a difference those who battle against terrorists are making. But whether it is 72, 8 or 1, to the family of that 1 it is a day that changes the lives of their families forever.
Personally, I feel a great sense of duty to those comrades who have fallen and to their families, to not allow anything to tarnish the memory of their sacrifice. I am extremely grateful for all who wage war against terrorists. I believe it is due to their efforts and divine grace that America has ‘only’ 8 terrorism related officer deaths in the decade since 9-11. (The word ‘only’ is used most preciously.)
As we honor all who have sacrificed, and particularly given the ultimate sacrifice, may we, as Americans, re-commit ourselves to do whatever it takes to keep freedom flying here at home and across the globe, wherever men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces serve. Jesus Christ said, “Greater love has no man than this, than he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) The Bible makes it clear that seldom will someone give their life for a good man but how blessed it is when someone gives their life, even for a stranger. That is the evidence of reward for those officers in Christ who have given up their own lives on behalf of someone they never knew and an encouragement to officers, every day as they hit their beat. May God protect you, watch over you and your family and may He bless you, as He proclaimed in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”