Not Christmas, that's for sure. I'm taking a break from packing my stuff to write up a short blog (and to eat a turkey sandwich).
Tomorrow afternoon I leave for Richmond, and then Thursday morning I will begin a 220 mile ride back to DC to honor the 163 men & women that made the ultimate sacrifice in 2011. Each of those names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial. Each rider on the tour is assigned a specific fallen officer, but I won't find out who I am assigned to until tomorrow.
This week is Police Week, and for residents of DC that usually conjures up images of hordes of drunken cops being obnoxious downtown. Please remember that that is only a small, and unfortunate, part of Police Week. Police Week is not only to honor the Fallen, but to take care of those they left behind. You may see buses escorted by Police coming through the city. They might even delay you or make your commute a little longer. Please remember that on those buses are husbands, wives, children, & parents, and they are grieving a tremendous loss. The escorts, the ceremonies, the pomp & circumstance- its the very least we can do for them.
This is what it means to be part of the Law Enforcement Family-we take care of each other. When one is hurt, we all hurt. When one is killed, we all suffer the loss. We may have willingly signed up to Serve & Protect, knowing the potential consequences, but our families did not. That is why we ALL step in to take care of each other's families, even if we've never met.
I'm pretty nervous about this ride. I don't think I've trained enough and I know it's going to be difficult. I have never ridden these distances over a single day, and I have to do it twice (the 3rd day is "only" 46 miles). When it gets tough, I plan on looking at the bracelet with my Fallen Officer's name on it, and thinking about his family waiting at the Memorial and how tough it must be for them.
I also want to thank all of you that donated, because it was your donations that let me get this far. Once the ride is over, I plan on sending out thank you notes & letters. If you need a letter documenting that your donation is tax deductible (it is!), let me know.
I plan on tweeting and posting while I'm on the ride too, so stay tuned!