I cried last night. I, like many other grown men and women, cried this morning.
I cried because a man who left his young family yesterday and went to serve and protect, never went home.
I cry because I will have another wristband to add in memory of another hero.
I cry because another name is added to a growing list of first responder heroes in our area, names known to their friends as Z, Chip, Tomasz, Ritter, Anth, Dan Brochu, Luca Martini, AJ Sperr, Drew, guys doing their job and being shot at by thugs. Luckily 6 of those names got to return to their families, while another has joined the 3 who were not as lucky.
I cry because there is another widow in horrific pain now, knowing she will raise her beautiful kids without the dad who loved them so much yesterday, just as school was starting.
Those kids will cry without their hero dad, one so young at three-months-old not even able to comprehend what mommy is going through now.
Even with all this pain in our city today, women and men in uniform showed up for work with heavy hearts, but they showed up to serve and protect us.
I salute them, as I salute their fallen hero at the Rochester Police Dept. You will know his name soon. His family, and wider family of law enforcement already knows what a special guy he is.
As I write this feeling so much sorrow, I also am deeply angry.
Angry that there are people in society who think they can not only terrorize us, but also those who bravely try to protect us from them.
They shoot at our heroes, yet our heroes continue to show up, hoping to be able to return safely to their families after making a difference for ours. Sadly one did not get to go home early today.
He will be rightfully memorialized. His family will become instantly famous to us. We will pray for them.
Unfortunately the thug who dared to take a good family man and Army vet from us will also now be famous. And that makes me angry again.
And it makes me furious that I'm sure some other idiots like him will celebrate in some seedy crack house somewhere. To hell with him and them.
But for now, we will grieve for the good people that we will see on the news at services for the next week.
As the mourning began late last night, my bud Mike Boehm, a retired officer from the Greece Police Dept. told me he immediately put his flag at home at half staff. He has done it before, as a fellow volunteer firefighter with the West Webster Fire Dept. when he lost his comrades Chip and Tomasz on 12/24/12. I urge you to follow his lead at home or at any business you may be part of.
And I also ask that you go to facebook.com/boha.org and learn about the Badge of Honor Association. This is a group that I am part of who supports the families of fallen officers in our area. Their wristband is with me now as it has been all summer. Sadly they now have another family to rally around. God bless all of them.
Please stay safe today.