by Micki Browning
Work long enough as a cop and most holidays have a way of becoming just another shift. That’s not the case with tomorrow’s holiday. Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the United States military. The focus of this day is on military not law enforcement, but the parallels between the two professions are obvious. Soldiering and policing are dangerous jobs. Both careers can be thankless. A day in either life may be full of confrontation with people who want to hurt or kill them.
There is a kinship between people who have strapped on tactical gear and run toward danger while others flee. Any man or woman willing to put themselves in harm’s way to ensure another’s freedom deserves respect. Let’s face it, being a hero can get you killed, and yet despite the risk, there are people who don their uniforms every day — and I am grateful.
Perhaps the holiday resonates so strongly with officers because our ranks are filled with military men and women who transitioned into law enforcement after they completed their tours of duty. They are our brothers and sisters. Regardless, Memorial Day tends to make officers reflect on those who have gone before and the value of their service.
There will always be those who view Memorial Day solely as the unofficial start of summer. Yes, it is a three-day weekend and a wonderful occasion to fire up the grill. It’s an even greater opportunity to reconnect with someone who’s served—or who may have lost someone who served. Sharing time with loved ones is a meaningful way to observe the day.
Flag protocol on Memorial Day is unique to the holiday. After initially raising the flag to its peak, the flag should be lowered to half-staff until noon to honor fallen soldiers. At noon, the flag should be raised to full-staff in order to honor the living.
Since the year 2000, our country has asked for the voluntary participation in the National Moment of Remembrance. As the afternoon progresses, please take a moment at three o’clock, your local time, to reflect upon the bravery of the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
All of us at Murder Books understand and appreciate the sacrifices made by those who have fallen — and we thank those who continue to carry the torch. Be safe.