Dear Mr. President,
I know you are a busy man and that my problems may seem insignificant to you. I know you are worried about race relations, climate change, the Pope’s visit to our great country, international affairs, our economy, tensions with the Middle East, and a myriad of other issues. I can’t imagine the stress you are constantly under. But still, I beg you to take a moment out of your busy day to listen to my heart as I share with you the worries that weigh heavily on me.
Mr. President, each day as my husband leaves for work my heart is in my stomach. You see, as he gets ready for his day, he dons a badge. My husband is a police officer and as he leaves my side each day, I know it could be the last I spend with him. He has worn this badge for 20 years now. I am so proud of him and all he does for our community. His service didn’t begin with the moment he became a police officer. Prior to this, he was in the Marine Corps. He served honorably in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Restore Hope. He has been a faithful servant to our community and our country for most of his life. He is a great and honorable man.
Sir, I know that my husband and all the other police officers are not the only people worthy of attention. There are many issues at hand that also need your attention as well- #blacklivesmatter, discrimination or vilification of all Muslims, healthcare issues, immigrants, and poverty issues in general, as well as so many others. As the leader of our nation there are so many who need you to look at their problems and to aid them with real solutions to alleviate the struggles and problems they are facing. You have made your voice and stance heard on many of these issues and yet when it comes to the importance of respect for police officers and their lives, especially in the last several months, well, you have been eerily quiet.
Mr. President, this saddens me. Sir, these brave men and women are being killed because of the badge they proudly wear upon their chests. They are being mercilessly targeted because they are willing to put their lives on the line for those who have no respect for the sacrifices they and their families make on a daily basis. Instead of praising these men and women for their selfless gift, they are instead ridiculed, chastised, and made into the enemy. And yet this “enemy” is still expected to risk his or her life for even those who wish to villainize them. I can’t understand how this is okay with our nation… and with you.
Sir, I readily admit that there are some police officers who have abused their authority and who have brought shame to this noble profession; but the vast majority of police officers are honorable men and women who give to their communities in a way that most of us could never comprehend. They are not racists, power-hungry, militant, sexist, or unstable individuals. Instead they are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends who are trying to do what is best for their communities. They seek to help their communities thrive and grow all the while staying safe.
In the last several weeks and months we have seen police officers being targeted and killed by those who want retribution for the loss of other lives. This, of course, is not right. These people are not taking a life to protect their own; no, they are taking a life just to take a life. How can this be right? How can we allow this to happen? Why have you not stepped forward to ask for this to stop? By asking for the people of this nation to respect the law and the officers that uphold that law, and by acknowledging the individuals who have given their lives in the line of duty, you don’t take away from the importance of the other issues that need your attention. In fact, when you acknowledge these issues you show that you indeed have the greater good of our entire nation at heart.
However, by not acknowledging these problems and by not consoling the grieving spouses, children, and families, you do take a stand. You take a firm stance against police officers. This stand tells us that you do not respect those who are willing to die for you. It says that you have a very specific agenda that does not include protecting all people. It says that police lives don’t matter and that their families don’t either.
Mr. President, I don’t wish to believe that this is how you feel. They say that actions often speak louder than words. Your actions (or lack thereof) tell us that these men and women, who honorably fight to protect the citizens of this great nation, don’t matter. Surely that isn’t how you feel! You are surrounded by police officers each and every day- each one of them willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for you and for our country. I’m sure you have gotten to know them in a very intimate and personal way. Do their lives matter? I can’t help but think you believe they do.
The life of each and every officer who is sworn to uphold and protect our laws is equally important as those police officers who protect you and your precious family. These men and women deserve to know that their commander-in-chief appreciates their willingness to set aside their own personal welfare for the good of their communities and ultimately the good of our nation. Without those who are willing to sacrifice so much we could not be the amazing nation we are today.
Sir, I am so proud to be part of the thin blue line family that protects this great country. Each day my husband wears a badge that stands for courage, valor, honor, respect, and service. He stands ready to give the ultimate sacrifice if he is called to do so. I pray that never happens for I am not nearly as strong as he. I need him beside me. Our children need him here too. But as long as there is a war on police officers and no one comes forward to reason with those who would wish them harm, the reality is that we could lose him.
Dear Mr. President, I beg you to open your heart and see that our nation needs you to stand up for those who so willingly give their lives to keep us safe. Comfort the families who have lost a loved one simply because they were police officers; ask for an end of the war on police. Encourage our brothers and sisters to respect the law and the officers who uphold it; lead by example through your support of our heroes in blue. You have the ability to change the climate of our country. So far you have chosen not to do so. Please don’t wait until it is too late to address this issue and help our nation heal.
I know that this letter will probably never cross your desk; after all, I am no one really. But I pray, that should you ever read this letter, my words will echo in your heart. I pray you will be moved into action. I pray you will encourage our nation to band together instead of tearing one another down; that they will see the value in each other’s lives- black, white, tan, man, woman, civilian, or police officer. I pray you will lead us to become one unified nation who loves and respects one another regardless of our difference.
Thank you for hearing what is on my heart,