05/06/09 — Heroes honored: We forget sometimes just how dangerous their job is

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Heroes honored: We forget sometimes just how dangerous their job is

There are not that many names on the memorial that honors the men who have died while doing their duty as members of Wayne County's law enforcement community.

And that is a blessing. We would not want to see too many names on that list.

But that doesn't mean that we should ever forget -- or ever stop being grateful -- to those who put on a badge every day, and to those who lost their lives on one of those work days.

Behind each of the engravings on the granite monument is a story of a man whose job it was to keep his community safe -- a task he did with courage and a lack of concern for his own safety.

Those names are part of a sacred brotherhood of heroes -- and they represent the hundreds of men and women who die each year as they rescue or protect their neighbors.

In the audience at today's ceremony to honor their memory were some of their family members. They, too, made sacrifices -- not only every day when they sent their loved one off to do a job that might not have brought him back home, but today as they live the rest of their lives without a father, a husband or a son.

Sometimes we take for granted the courage it takes to head out into the streets to patrol a drug-infested neighborhood, or to answer a fire rescue call or to rush to get someone to the hospital.

We don't realize how these heroes cheat death.

The annual memorial service is a chance to honor those we have lost. The rest of the year, we should make it a point to be grateful to those who are still wearing their badges and uniforms to keep us safe.

Published in Editorials on May 6, 2009 11:10 AM