Life can be so unfair. It's unfortunate it takes situations such as this week, when a police officer, who underneath his kevlar vest and uniform was also a devoted full time daddy and caring husband, is killed in the line of duty, for people to take notice, reflect, remember, and recognize him; before, during, and after his burial.
It's even sadder when physically, emotionally, and mentally taxed public safety personnel & volunteers (who are usually working 2-3 full time and part time jobs, while missing those "family moments" with their children, due to each job paying mediocre wages, due to lack of local, state, and federal funding coupled with the current economic state forcing longer hours, less pay, and less backup personnel, pass away (especially ones with wives and children), responding to, or during dangerous 911 calls.
It's only during horribly sad situations such as this one that we as a society FINALLY stop to reflect and recognize the selfless work and heroic measures of all officers. The same officers that other days we take for granted and/or get grumpy towards or about for giving us well deserved speeding tickets, once home, or even before pulling away from the side of the road, we're blasting our unhappiness all over Twitter and Facebook in hopes of a like or retweet or sympathetic comment.
Instead of owning up to our own flaws and looking at the bigger picture that you were pulled over, or cited for something stupid YOU DID, and realizing that you were cited, charged, ticketed etc, as a reminder to reset yourself, and be safer for your own personal reasons as well as for the safety of others.
That traffic ticket or DUI check you got mad about was done to protect you from hurting yourself, others around you, or in extreme cases causing death and leaving behind family and friends who love you or the innocent stranger you hurt.
Anyone in public safety, whether it be a police officer, firefighter, EMT/paramedic, swat member etc. puts their life on the line daily to protect and serve on a micro and macro level of society.
It's a shame we don't take the time to reflect and recognize EVERYONE in Public Safety until something tragic happens or on days of remembrance such as 9/11. People often hate police officers and EMS volunteers because they were reprimanded for something THEY DID WRONG, instead of using your mistake as a lesson to better yourself and your life.
The next time you get a ticket, instead of being rude or belligerent at the officer, think of the bigger picture and thank him or her for saving you from possibly hurting yourself or others. Think of how each day that officer/firefighter/medic/EMT etc., puts their life on the line for YOU! (...some with little to no pay.)
Recognizing the efforts and excellence in public safety personnel should be done daily, BEFORE, they tragically pass in the line of duty, and not after they pass away, while protecting all humans, unconditionally, unbiased, and not looked at as an officer that made you later for work, because YOU were speeding in the first place, or grumpy at a fire truck or ambulance that turned your green light to red with their opticom, to minimize response time to save someone's life, burning home, or family cat stuck in a tree.
Yes, they stepped up to the plate, and made a personal and public pledge, and commitment, to put their lives on the line, to serve unbiased, unconditionally, and without judgement or discrimination; to keep ALL of us safe and protect, and usually save, ALL of the idiots, true criminal delinquents, or stop burning homes, and save critically ill patients.
Next time you see an ambulance, fire truck, or police car racing through that now green light you had seconds ago "killing your day by turning your light red & making your trip to wherever longer," use that time to think of how the person or people they are rushing to help are feeling.
Police officers, fire fighters, EMTs and Paramedics race 24/7, 365 to save sick people during the "Golden Hour," who require immediate medical attention, save a burning home with someone else's personal contents (ex. family photos, your great grandmother's wedding ring etc.), stopping speeding people who are driving a vehicle weighing over a ton of deadly metal containing hazardous materials (gasoline, oil, antifreeze etc) 50+ mph over the limit, while more likely than not, lacking the skills of Dale Earnhardt Jr., because THEY MADE themselves late for work, and selfishly decided to speed. Yet, our society rarely recognizes anyone in public safety while they are alive, as they usually go unnoticed for their duty and unbiased, unconditional, commendable, dedication to SAFETY AND SAVING ALL OF US.
We are responsible for ALL of OUR actions! Unfortunately, we are humans, and the majority of us are but won't humbly admit to being ignorant and technology addicted, impatient, selfish American humans. With that said, more often than not, we usually fail to stop and think of possible consequences of most of our actions. Actions that WE ALL make, on a daily basis, whether it be consciously, or subconsciously, in the heat of moments. Moments we probably could have, and probably very well should have, done in a different way, or not at all.
If you're still reading, the only last thing I have to say is don't go to bed on bad terms. Don't storm off and drive away after a verbal argument. Stop texting and driving and thank a public safety officer if they help you or stop you for doing something you know is wrong. Be thankful for what you have, because I guarantee someone else always has it worse than you think. :)