On Monday two Chicago Police Officers were killed while pursuing a shooting suspect who fled along the embankment of nearby railroad tracks. In their pursuit the Officers were aware of an oncoming train and crossed over to other tracks . The subsequent noise from the oncoming train distracted them from another traveling in the opposite direction, both were tragically killed.
Chicagoan's yet again say rest in peace to Police Officers Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmolejo. Hard times do not create hero's ; it's during hard times the hero is revealed. Just a short time ago Chicago Cops were accused by the Mayor of the City,( the so called Commander in Chief of all the City's Cops) of being fetal and afraid of doing proactive police work because of a few sensational incidents of Cops being dragged through the mud for taking aggressive action. It was called the Ferguson effect.
Say what you want about Cops, and many do indeed, their job has many dangers, it's always lurking just around the corner. The constant drum beat of violence whether directed at us or another, defines who we are, it changes us forever. This is not Military service, engaging an enemy, this a constant stream of being subjected to abhorrent and violent behavior day after day year after year, with a far greater toll then our military troops have sustained after 17 years of war in a Foreign land. They try to fight it off but it takes it's toll nevertheless.
Nation wide 144 police officers have been killed in the line of duty so far this year and over 140 have committed suicide. A dirty job that gets little respect, but tons of Vitriol from all the haters and second guessers when things go wrong ,which is rare. However rare it seems is all we hear about most, but rare is not the true 98%.
In Chicago alone 4 Officers have been killed in the line of duty and 6 have committed suicide. This year 8 children of Chicago Police Officers will spend their first Christmas without a father, Officer Gary's daughter who is 6 months old will never know her father. The violence in Chicago is something we all know about, it's ugly head is like a run away locomotive, with seemingly no end in site. Gang thugs who completely lack any form empathy continue to shoot and kill each other with very little or no consequences.
It wears down a City that many believe has lost it's way. W.H. Auden whose famous poem "September 1 1939" once contained the words "WE MUST LOVE EACH OTHER OR DIE." In later years when reproducing that poem he left out those words, when asked why, this was his reply. "We can love each other all we want but we are still all going to die. The brutality and the death toll of world war II took those beautiful words away, and replaced it with the brutal reality.
Death is not like an airline schedule, it doesn't announce when we will departing, the human species are the only creatures on earth with foreknowledge of our mortality, certainly a plus and a minus both. The question is, how long will a City tolerate monstrous behavior before everyone gets on the same page? To tolerate the evil that lives among us, is evil in itself. How many more hero's and innocence are we willing to sacrifice before realizing like Auden did, it cannot be wiped out by words alone . The bad guys are winning. It's going to take courage.
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