Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

Call Box: Sometimes I Just Wonder

By Ed Meckle, Retired LAPD

 

lapd callboxI can’t explain it but sometimes I just wonder about things. In this case I went online and checked Department of Defense and FBI stats and surprised myself.

Coalition forces in Afghanistan include USA, UK, Canada, France, and Germany.

 

Combat deaths by “hostile action” for all said forces for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 total 50.

Lower than I thought. Let’s add Iraq, same period: deaths—14, for a grand total 64.

That’s right: 64 deaths by hostile action both zones for three (3) years=64!! Three years.

A sobering fact

Police officers murdered by guns in the United States of America (source Officer Down Memorial Page):

2015……..41

2016……..64

Total……..105!! (total corrected, pardon my bad math–Thonie)

This doesn’t include death by stabbing, vehicular assault, or any other method. Check the numbers for yourself. Ninety-two (92) cops died over a period of two (2) years.

Something is really wrong here.

 

Funeral

It began with a long, slow seemingly endless procession of black and white under a sea of flashing red and blue. Pedestrians, momentarily confused, reacted in assuming an awkward civilian attention, some with hand over heart in respect.

The smell of freshly turned earth, the cloying scent of flowers, hushed voices, a choked sob, the mournful wail of the piper, a muffled bugle, taps, rows of blue, black-banded badges, white gloves, mirror sunglasses, stiff almost self-conscious salutes.

LAPDFUNERAL-nick lee Mar 15 2014

Pallbearers carry the casket of LAPD Officer Nicholas Lee following his funeral Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, CA March 13, 2014 photo by Los Angeles Daily News

The sharp, crisp snap of the honor guard, polished visors low on forehead over stern visage, the familiar, “whomp, whomp” as a low, fast, tight formation of helicopters suddenly appears. The gasp of the crowd as one suddenly peals away.

Visible flinch at first volley, again and yet again. Seven rifles as one. Women with vacant stares, uncomprehending children with brave faces.

The world now shifts to black and white in slow motion. An ancient memory:

Nick's funeral riderless horse

Nick’s funeral–riderless horse; the backward boot symbolizing the last time the officer will look back on his troups.

Black draped artillery caisson, gleaming riderless black horse, rear facing boots in stirrups.

A thunder of muffled drums. The honor guard now moves with slow deliberate “mime-like precision.” The flag is folded once, then again lengthwise. Now starting at the stripe end a series of triangular folds, thirteen in all. The presenter takes great care to ensure a “perfect” triangle.

Kneeling and presenting with the straight edge to the recipient, “On behalf of a grateful notion…”

 

Aside: the number of folds has a number of explanations however 13 to represent the original colonies is most widely accepted. The triangle, to represent the tri-cornered hat worn by the patriot/minutemen.

The 21 gun salute has been with us since the 15th century; however I like the fact that 21 is the sum of the numbers in 1776.

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This entry was posted on February 15, 2017 by in The Call Box and tagged , , , , , , .

Cop Talk

For all things about cop culture-the work, the family, the days off.

The purpose of this page is to educate writers of all genres to be accurate in their portrayal of law enforcement professionals. This includes meter maids (I was a "lovely Rita" many years ago), dispatcher, patrol officers, detectives, and administrators.

I have many resources in my 35 year career in California law enforcement. I index and explain common errors that found in all media. Guests will also post about police professionalism today and tomorrow as well as historical articles about the way things used to be, "back in the day".

Examples of police media myths: missing persons cannot be reported by anyone but the family; missing persons reports can't be taken until the subject has been missing 24 hours; all cops eat donuts.

You get my drift.

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Just the Facts, Ma'am posts Sundays and Wednesdays. Guest writers Gerry Goldshine, Hal Collier, Melissa Kositzin and sometime Woody Hoke take us through the days and nights of those who protect and serve. Extra postings will include California 'Officer Down' notices or something special. I will update progress of my current literary project as they develop. --Thonie Hevron

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