There are places in this world where every day is a day to be cautious and wary, where people don’t enjoy freedom or the peace of mind knowing that the place they live is a safe one. Many of us are blessed to live in a place where there are institutions and laws in place that protect the citizens and allow us to live without fear on a daily basis. This safety and freedom is such an intrinsic part of our society that we rarely think about it and we take it for granted. We need to remember, however, that there are brave men and women from among us who put their lives at risk every day so that we, the public, can enjoy the safety in which we live in. To show our thanks for their service, we can pray for them and ask that God would guide them and bless their lives. We can even go beyond that, though, and we should! How many of us actually take the time out of our lives to thank them personally, to show them that we appreciate their courage and selflessness? To inspire us to take action and show thanks, here’s a story of a beautiful tribute that was made for the everyday heroes in the police force by the grateful citizens of their town.
There’s a Facebook page called ‘Police Officers’ that posts stories dedicated to men and women in the police force. The posts range from humorous, to heart-warming, and inspirational. One anonymous post particularly received a lot of attention because of how poignant the story was. In the post, the anonymous police officer describes how he and his partner were on a run and accidentally went to the wrong address. At that place, they stumbled upon a Christmas tree, adorned with beautiful blue and silver ornaments. It seemed just like regular ornaments except they revealed something very special upon closer inspection. The owner had written down the names of every officer who had been killed in the line of duty, not only humans but also those of K-9 officers. Each ornament had one name written on it.
The owner called it the “Tree of Honor” and she had made it as a tribute to the brave men and women who protect our freedoms and guard our safety day in and day out. After a quick search on Google, it was revealed that this occurred in Michigan. In the picture accompanying the post, one of the names written on an ornament that can be clearly seen is that of Sergeant Collin J. Rose. Officer Collin Rose of the Wayne State University Police was killed in the line of duty on November 23rd, 2016. Another name is that of Detroit Sergeant Kenneth Steil who was killed in the line of duty on September 17th, 2016. He was promoted to captain at his funeral.
The “Tree of Honor” was most likely inspired by a similar tree, originally part of the Festival of Trees in Des Moines which was given to the Urbandale Police Department. That tree had a skirt which bore the names and badges of five officers that were killed in Iowa. Just as this inspired the “Tree of Honor”, let us take these stories as inspirations to gather ourselves and show our appreciation and love for the men and women in the police force who daily risk their lives for us.
Share this story to show your support for the officers who keep us safe!