Newspapers, web sites, political pundits, bloggers… these are all sources of news. And while we depend on a mainstream media to deliver us the information we require in stories like this, we are spared the gruesome details.
I know this will infuriate some, but perhaps we would be able to grasp the enormity of some tragedies like this if we had more information. But only if we process that information and absorb the scope and full impact. I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve lost that ability from our collective souls as a society.
But I believe it’s important to know, on this day when the four slain members of the Lakewood, Washington Police department are laid to rest, that even during the final moments of their lives, the final acts of these four souls was to think of protecting and serving others. According to King5 News and the Associated Press:
The owner of the Forza Coffee shop where four Lakewood Police Officers were shot and killed said Officer Greg Richards “shielded” the baristas and customers inside the coffee shop during Sunday’s shooting.Owner Brad Carpenter told KING 5 News, his two employees who were in the store at the time, told him Officer Richards wrestled with Maurice Clemmons and dragged him out of the coffee shop so no one else would be hurt.
Richards, Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold and Ronald Owens were killed by Clemmons.
To protect and serve was their commitment. And they did no less. To honor them and keep them and their families in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers at this time is not only our obligation, but an honor and a privilege. As a society, we are greatly diminshed by their passing. And we all must step up to fill in that horrible gap left in their absense.
But perhaps the best way to honor them is to renew our commitment as a society to reinstill the values that have been systematically stripped away by the glorification of violence in entertainment and in the rejection of reality in favor of political correctness. We must deal with this or collectively pass into the history books as a society.
This is not the first multiple murder of police officers this year. On March 21st, the city of Oakland, CA also lost four of their own “finest” including Officer John Hege along with Sargents Mark Dunakin, Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai, all gunned down during what was supposedly a routine traffic stop and during the attempt by the murderer to flee.
The following month, three police officers responding to a domestic abuse call in Pennsylvania were shot to death by a killer who was lying in wait for them. In the blink of an eye, gone were Officers Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle and Paul Sciullo III. And so it goes…
But today is a day all decent people should mourn. The memorial service is being held today in the town of Lakewood, Washington. But the city by the shores of Puget Sound is not the only place the tears will be flowing.
The following video was done as a trubute to the 4 Oakland Policemen, but sadly, its an ideal choice for today’s memorial as well.
Of note: The singer, performing the standard, “Amazing Grace” did the unthinkable: He added a bridge to the song that never existed before. But, in my opinion, he did a masterful job and made a great song even more appropriate for the solomn occasion. The song was used in the film Amazing Grace several years ago. The lyrics to the bridge are as follows and seem especially fitting:
My Chains Are Gone
I’ve Been Set Free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood, his mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing Grace
In honor and memory of the Lakewood Police laid to rest today and to all who have given their lives in the line of duty, thank you… We’ll take it from here.
Update: The Lakewood Police Independent Guild is accepting donations for the families of the four slain police officers. Checks can be made to the LPIG Benevolent Fund and sent to P.O. Box 99579, Lakewood, WA 98499. Donations also can be made online at www.lpig.us.