On Wednesday night at Mooseheart Chapel, a Law Enforcement Appreciation Ceremony was dedicated to those police officers who have died in Kane County in the line of duty. There were 21 listed in the program, along with the acknowledgement of 143 who died nationwide in 2014, and 42 already in 2015.
After posting the colors and singing the National Anthem, Deputy Chief Dave Kintz of the St. Charles Police Department, who also serves as president of the Kane County Chiefs of Police Association, welcomed everyone. There was a lighting of the memorial candle, prayer and musical selection by the South Elgin High School choir.
Chief Judge Judy Brawka led all the officers in an affirmation of their oaths to serve and protect the public under the rule of law, “to give light to darkness and bring order out of chaos.”
The guest speaker was Illinois State Police Trooper Douglas Balder, who was very seriously injured when a fatigued truck driver plowed into his squad car at full horrendous speed and a tollway maintenance worker’s truck on I-88 that left the worker’s wife and children widowed and orphaned.
There was a procession of officers representing each law enforcement jurisdiction who individually lit a candle at the front of the church. There were two readings, a Prayer of Petitions and the Officer’s prayer. The colors were retired, attendees marched in recessional, and a wreath was laid at the flame of remembrance outside the church accompanied by bagpipes and a 21-gun salute.
It’s an understatement to say that these are hard times to be a good cop. But, we’re blessed with so many good men and women who have the consistent daily courage to protect our lives, liberty and property. The memory of heroics from 9/11 and the horrors of anarchy three days into Katrina’s aftermath and gratitude for the routine proper conduct of law enforcement seems to be fading by the day.
It was president “Silent Cal” Coolidge who said, “I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the ‘observance of the law’ rather than they do on its enforcement.” God boiled it down to just Ten Commandments; man has made it a lot more complicated with volumes of statutes. But it still takes men and women to implement the protections of law and justice in our lives.
You will be welcomed at next year’s ceremony to show your support for our men and women in blue.
Kane County Board Chairman