On Monday morning, I drove with Lydia past an arena no more than three minutes from our house. We go this route nearly every day, but this time, something was unusual at the stop light. Hundreds of police vehicles lined up to honor the first North Dakota police officer killed on duty in 134 years.
Two weeks ago, an officer was wounded during a standoff with a domestic violence suspect. He was 33 years old and had previously served as a combat medic in two deployments. The suspect also died that night.
As our traffic light turned green, we talked about what was happening. “Do you see all those police cars, Lydia? They’re honoring a police officer killed on the job recently.” Being little, she couldn’t understand the impact on our normally quiet community.
But, I teared up with thankfulness and sadness at the sight. It was amazing to see such solidarity in honoring a hero’s life. Thousands of police officers came from several states and Canada. Though, I also grieved because of the tragedy and loss.
I am so glad for the care shown to the officer’s widow and family. And, I am equally grateful for the acknowledgement of two widows and families suffering.
I pray for strength and peace for both families as they process how the community rallied around them. I pray the public love and support will bring great comfort and healing to these new widows in the coming days.
These tragedies are unifying for several reasons, including the shared loss we feel.
I identify with the officer because of his age. While I did not know him, we could have been classmates. Also, he was married with children; I can relate. I don’t live in the same area as the standoff, but many of my friends do. These days, it just hits home.
Police, firemen, paramedics, EMTs, those in the military, etc. make huge personal sacrifices on a regular basis. Many of these brave men and women start off as volunteers!
Our personal safety is something we often take for granted. But ‘first responders’ are in danger whenever they go to work. They also typically see us at our worst; as such, I’m sure they don’t get thanked enough.
I do not have a police officer in my extended family, but I have close friends who do. I have not personally experienced domestic violence, nor will I pretend to know how that feels. Yet, there are many emotional parallels in times of grief.
While my journey into widowhood has been different, it does help to know you’re not alone. I’m thankful people are pulling together for mutual support and encouragement.
As we returned home later Monday afternoon, our normal exit off the highway was blocked. Instead, the police were in a 21-mile procession through Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota. Once again, I pointed them out to Lydia. It felt like history in the making.
We took the next exit and backtracked home. We reached our intersection again and the police vehicles were still passing through. So, we parked at a grocery store to watch across the street. Lots of other people had the same idea.
Several times over the years I’ve been teary-eyed in my car—usually the result of a song on the radio. It doesn’t happen as often these days…but Monday, I was in good company!
These people put their lives at risk for ours. They seek to protect us and I appreciate all they do for us. It is wonderful to see everyone pay respect to someone who deserves it. Thank you for your service, Officer Moszer. Rest in peace.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
God, thank You for the brave men and women who are called to protect us. Please bless them as they serve. And please provide special comfort and peace to these families and this community. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions: Who are the heroes in your life? Have you thanked them lately?