May is an interesting month, filled with events and commemorations, revolutions and anniversaries. Since 1962, May 15th has been commemorated as National Police Memorial Day. American flags over government buildings are flown at half mast in memorial of all those police officers killed in the line of duty. Over the last ten years the number of police officers killed in the line of duty stands at over 1700.
In recognition of National Police Memorial Day, St. Louis County conducts an annual tribute to Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters serving in our area, who have died in the line of duty. That ceremony will take place on Friday, May 9 at the Memorial Plaza at the Government Center in Clayton. The names of those fallen heroes are read each year so that we will never forget their sacrifice.
There are no other professions in time of peace, where you can go off to work and there is the possibility that you will not return home alive. The families of Police Officers and Firefighters live with this reality every day. Anytime you do something the same way, year after year, there is a tendency to become complacent and apathetic. This year is different. The names of officers who fell in and around Kirkwood City Hall will be added to the list. I pray that these will be the last names on the list for a long time to come.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Mark Shook is Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Israel.