Monday, October 8, 2007

The Worst Part of Being a Cop.

Liz posted a comment about a wake she attended recently and it inspired me to talk a bit about police funerals for the benefit of those of you who are not in the field and/or have never been to a police funeral.

Police funerals are truly a surreal experience. You really have to be a cop, or spend a lot of time with one to truly understand the whole thing. I mean, where else will you see a police officer, the strong and unemotional pillar of society, the man or woman the public depends on in their time of need or crisis, cry uncontrollably. I'll tell you, it will ONLY happen when the officer is alone or in the presence of other cops.

I have been to two police funerals in my career, and if I never have to go to another one it will still be much too soon. They are not fun, they are not enjoyable. I can usually hold it together until the bagpiper plays Amazing Grace. Then I lose it.

The feelings that pass through my mind during a police funeral range from absolute devastating sadness, to nearly uncontrollable anger, to utmost pride in my profession. Sadness for the family of the lost one. Pride because of my brothers and sisters in the sea of blue, tan, green, grey, brown and black who have turned out in Class A uniform to show support for the family, friends and co-workers of the one who paid the price. Anger for the person or persons responsible for the taking of that officer's life. Even when it was the officer's fault that he or she died, I am angry at THEM for being so stupid as to not wear their seatbelt, or take the extra few seconds to put on their body armor. I really don't think a regular person can understand it.

Don't get me wrong. I am not of the US and THEM mentality. I just don't think you can fully understand the feelings unless you have been there. I mean, what profession, other than police officer or firefighter, would draw thousands of people to a funeral for someone they have never even heard of.

I know it will never happen, but I truly wish that someday we could all get rid of our black bands. Oh, what I would give to never, ever again have to utter the words "We've lost another one."

Dammit, where's my Kleenex?

1 comment:

Liz said...

That's a great post. You captured all of it. Not ever loosing another one is the most fervent wish of my heart.