This past week Indianapolis lost a police officer who was killed by a shooter while fulfilling his public service duty. I used to work with police officers and firefighters and I have always had a great deal of respect for what they do, and how they do it. This week, the Indianapolis community is witness to the services which surround the loss of a police officer in the line of duty. The week has had a certain beat to it. Shock, placing of wreaths on the patrol car, the service with 5,000 participants expected, and today the gathering of police officers from all over Indiana. It is of course a sad and tragic event that brought all of this together. While it is not important, the shooting incident occurred as a result of a demotic violence call that got out of hand and one thing led to another and another and it ended with the officer and the perpetrator both dead, true sadness. I am not suggesting you do so, but if you would like more information here is the current story in the Indianapolis star:
All of this got me to thinking about what could be our traditions within our family? I do not have good ideas about this and perhaps it is best we do not celebrate a life well lived within the TUDiabetes family? The police force I served alongside had recorded only two deaths in the line of duty in its history and firefighters had never last an officer in the line of duty. So I never participated in one of these, but I did celebrate the life of several retirees who, after their service, passed away. The tradition of those departments was to station one or two uniformed officers outside the visitation room at attention for 24 hours per day during the period of visitation. It was an incredibly moving gesture.
Both departments would gather outside City Hall and Fire Station number 1 when a procession of the deceased officer passed both buildings. As the procession passed Firs Station Number 1 the fire department would lover the large hook and ladder boom in tribute to the deceased fireman or police officer. When you went by and saw these police officers and firefighters standing outside it was impossible to miss the gravity of the situation.
This brings me to TUDiabetes and the question about our traditions if and when one of our valued members passes. I imagine Emily or one of the admin team are notified when something occurs and I know they spread the word to us. But surely there must be a way for showing our community support for the family of the person we lost?
One thing we could do is light a virtual candle. I know that sounds ridiculous, but sites exist that allow anyone with an email address to light a virtual candle. Here is the site I like best:
The lighting requires no money and of course the idea would need to be sanctioned by the administrators and the administrative team first. This is just an idea, not a proposal.
Perhaps we can figure a way to leave remarks of remembrance on the persons TUD home page? Perhaps we can simply write messages and later let the family know how to view them. Again it would need to be voluntary, and approved appropriately.
Finally, one thing we could individually do is make our wishes known to, our family, that we would like funds donated for the operation of TUD. Yes it is that important to me, and while I would never want to think anyone was pressured, the fact of the matter is that lasting tribute can be providing support to the community most of us enjoy so much. Fortunately, that is something each of us could do and each of us could in our own way provide a meaningful tribute.
Whatever we do, including nothing will be fine by me. I simply bring up the situation because of the events around me and the remembrance of how much it means to tell others how much our community cares even (maybe especially) in the time of loss.