On Friday, May 15 — today, if you follow that little folio at the top of our printed page — Americans will wrap up National Police Week with National Peace Officers Memorial Day.
This is a specific date to honor the men and women who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty while serving as law-enforcement officers. They are the people we sometimes swear at under our breath when they catch us speeding, and the ones we demonize or cast off as part of a collective racist institution when a video clip goes viral that stokes emotions.
They are also the ones who we see rushing into hostile situations to help someone they might have never met, helping Special Olympics athletes, checking in on senior citizens who might not have anybody else to do so and, you know, generally putting their backsides on the line to try to keep the rest of us safe. They are the heroes of our day-to-day lives — not with magical powers or unworldly strength, but through bravery, dedication, empathy and a sense of honor.
Just in the past few weeks, we have written about how the Bethany Beach Police Department had three members of its team hit with COVID-19, shared video online of the Millsboro Police Department trying to cheer up healthcare workers, and detailed how the Ocean View Police department, with assistance from South Bethany and state police, raided a home in Murray’s Haven last week following a tip that the occupants were allegedly selling drugs to children.
And we mostly take them for granted every day.
Virus, summer season, second homes being burglarized, pedestrians and bicyclists being injured or killed by motorists: our local police respond to all these situations. They go in with a sense of duty and a mission to protect life and property, often not knowing what they will find when they get there.
We thank the men and women who risk it all every single day, every single minute of every single day, to benefit the rest of us, and we honor those who have fallen or been permanently disabled while in the service of those duties.
Now, please, take a break from arguing with one another over the pandemic, and the response to said pandemic, to stop and remember some real heroes today.