(Crystal A. Proxmire, The Ferndale 115 News, May 17, 2012)
On May 15th the Ferndale community came together to honor and remember police officers who have been lost in the line of duty. In a solemn ceremony around the flag pole in front of the Police Station and City Hall, Ferndale Police Chief Timothy Collins spoke about the duty of police work and the sacrifices some have made.
Kindergarteners and first graders from Roosevelt Primary said the Pledge of Allegiance. The flag was lowered to half mast while two older Eagles (band members) played TAPS. Then rifles were fired in salute.
The ceremony was in honor of Police Week, and in particular of Police Memorial Day, which is a day of remembrance established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
“Today we are assembled here for two purposes,” said Chief Collins. “First and foremost we are here of honor our brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement who have given their lives in the performance of their solemn duty to protect the citizens of our Nation.
‘Nationally, Officers lose their lives in the line of duty once every 53 hours.
Last year during this ceremony I mentioned that the number of Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty was on the rise, and that we should hope and pray that this pattern would subside.
‘Although even one Officer killed is one too many, I am thankful to tell you that the number of Officers slain has decreased substantially compared to 2011.
‘Last year however was a terrible year for line of duty deaths in Michigan. We lost five of our brothers in 2011.
‘So far this year we have lost just one. Corrections Officer Clarence Hammond III of the Michigan Department of Corrections was killed in uniform a short distance from here in Madison Hts. We pray for Officer Hammond and his family, we thank him for his service and we pray that there will be no more similar sacrifice.
‘The second reason that we have gathered here today is to thank the Officers who are currently working to protect our community.
‘These men and women put on their uniform every day and go out into a world that is sometimes violent and sometimes dangerous, but always unpredictable.
‘Why do they do it you may ask?
‘Well, I would like to tell you something I learned just a few weeks ago that may help to explain why. Something I have taken for granted all of my life.
‘It is the Latin word TUEBOR, and it is engraved on every police badge in the state
of Michigan. I never looked it up or translated it to English, I just thought of it as a part of the badge.
‘Recently, I discovered the translation; it means “I will protect.”
‘Now, not every Police Officer you meet will know this, but every single one of them, back when they were issued their badge raised their right hand and said just that, I will protect.
‘And that is one of the reasons we are here today, to thank them for assuming this awesome responsibility.”
Check out the video below, and find more at our You Tube page – http://youtu.be/iZtXjOm7GeM.