Do you remember the feeling in your stomach as you watched the towers fall? The anger that you felt as the Pentagon burned? The horror of falling bodies — your fellow citizens — tumbling from the World Trade Center? The sorrow as the number of our lost brothers and sisters in Blue and in the fire and rescue service grew in the days that followed the attacks?Do your eyes still tear with pride at the memory of the citizens who fought back on Flight 93, and how courageously the rescuers raced up the stairs of the doomed towers to do their duty in spite of the terrible risk facing them? Do you still believe in our cause? Saturday, a good friend of mine had a going away party. It was his third since September 2001, since he is not just a police officer, but also a Gunny Sergeant in the United States Marines. Two of his three sons were born while he was in Iraq, but he left Monday, Sept. 10, 2007, to continue his fight for us. Do we remember why he’s leaving, and what our duty is after all this years?
First, we must remember it all - the feelings, the events, the struggle and the continuing war. Many have written that vigilance and education are the keys to law enforcement doing our part to spot and stop terrorism at home. Taken literally, vigilance means “to stay awake.” This means you must alertly hunt all evil, and that includes the top predators in the food chain of evil: murderers and terrorists.
The relative quiet here at home has the same effect that routine has on our officer safety practices; it lulls us into a false sense of security, lowering our awareness and causing us to expect nothing. We are trained to know we win by expecting something to happen, someone to commit some violence or crime – and catch them when they do.
So here is the challenge: Remember and honor our fallen, while supporting those who serve overseas. Learn the tactics and techniques of our enemies. And go hunting every shift for all those who would do harm to the citizens you serve and protect.
Good hunting and stay safe!