Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Memorial Ceremony and Tribute to the Police Officers of the Tampa Florida Police Department

May 10, 2017 at 10:30 A.M. It was my privilege to be able to attend and honor Tampa Florida's Finest lost in the line of service and those retired who have died 2016-2017. My Brother Sgt Stephen Lambert was part of that group.

September 26, 1895 the first officer of the department to lose his life was Officer John McCormick,
Officer Jeffrey Kocab  and Officer David Curtis , lost their lives  June 29, 2010.  The Bell still rings in tribute to all of the fallen.

All these Brothers, who get up every day with the mission of protection for the rest of us, face a political climate that is almost unthinkable, yet those dedicated to helping others and keeping our lives safe , continue to willingly begin each day regardless of the peril that they might face.  The families  of these officers pray that their loved ones will return home, unscathed, at the end of the day.
The program above records the 31 names of those lost in the line of duty since 1895 and the 20 names of those retired who died in 2016-2017. The rolls were called and the bell tolled.

Police Chief EricWard and Sgt Brian Bishop placed the wreath.

It was a Moving and inspirational experience  from the beginning of the service to the end which included a 21 gun salute and the sound of Taps.  The call to order and presentation of Colors, included The  TPD Mounted Patrol, Tampa Police Explorers and the TPD Honor Guard. The invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem suddenly brought this moment in time into the proper perspective. God was present at this meeting!
The mournful sound of the bagpipes piped them in and piped them out. 
There are many divisions in the Tampa Department and the first thing we saw as my Husband and I were directed to our seats was the reminder of the Motorcycle division.
The Tampa Aviation Division did a "Fly Over". A friend of my Brother from early days was also
remembered this day, and it would be remiss of me not to mention Chief Pilot Michael J Whicker, who in his Air Force days ate at our table many times.

There were many moving moments  in this day for me.  This has been a difficult year for my family and I, for many reasons,
within 2 months I lost my Mother and one of my brothers. As I sat there remembering, I wondered if they were looking down and watching this all take place. Would they be proud?  Well I was, proud of every man, woman and family that was represented this day May 10, 2017

The last walk of the Dead Man's Horse with his boots upside down says it all.  During the day I was interviewed by local TV Stations, I was asked both times, what this day meant to me.  How can you put into words the emotions that are generated by your own loss, knowing full well you are not alone, that everyone around you is sharing those same moments of their own loss. I was given a red rose to remind me of the day, but what I will remember is the Reverence, the prayers, the moving Tributes  and the great respect paid to all of our fallen Heroes. A wonderful poem was read this day, that was written by George Haun, retired LAPD  Titled " The Monument"
                                      I never dreamed it would be me,
                                     My name for all eternity
                                     Recorded here in this hallowed place
                                     Alas, my name, no more my face

                                     " In the Line of duty " I hear them say;
                                      My family now the price to pay.
                                      My folded flag stained with their tears;
                                       We only had those few short years.

                                       The badge no longer on my chest,
                                        I sleep now in eternal rest
                                        My sword I pass to those behind
                                        and I pray they keep this thought in mind

                                        I never dreamed it would be me,
                                        and with heavy heart and bended knee,
                                        I ask for all from the past
                                        Dear God, let my name be the last.

Thank you for reading my blog today, and when you hear critical comments or have those thoughts, remember those who are no longer here, because they cared about us!

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