Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The thin blue line

The city of Des Moines. The place I have called home the last 11 years. The capital of Iowa and one of the best places in the Midwest for young professionals and to raise a family.  Last night we were a city in celebration. Our beloved Chicago Cubs forced game 7 of the World Series.  Everyone knows the story of the goat, the drought in our pennants and the fortitude of this young team bringing hope and joy to so many longtime and diehard fans.  What some may not know, outside this area of corn fields and farms, is that the Cub connection to Iowa runs deep.  We are the home of the Iowa Cubs…the Triple-A minor league team that farms talent for the Chicago Cubs. Many names you’ve seen on the playoff rosters have been part of the Iowa Cubs at one time or another.

We went to sleep last night singing “Go Cubs, Go!”, chanting “we believe”!  A proud and excited city, draped in red, white and blue.  We woke this morning under a cloud of darkness, praying for the thin blue line. Unable to believe what had happened on our streets overnight. 

Two police officers were ambushed and killed last night just blocks apart from each other.  The breaking news has not only rocked our community but the nation as a whole.  This is not how we want to be featured on CNN, The Today Show and other news outlets.  This is not what Des Moines is about. This is a strong community with ethical beliefs, smiling faces and “Iowa Nice”.  A place where children play outside without fear.  Families walk their dogs after dark without a second thought.  We are family, neighbors and friends.

The first officer was killed four blocks from my old house. Down the street from my cousin and the school where children I love attend. The second officer killed near my bank, my gym, my mall, the stores I frequent, less than 2 miles from my home.  We’ve lost brothers in blue in the line of duty and in accidents.  Never, that I can remember, in cold blooded, senseless murder that will ravage the heart and souls of their families, colleagues and loved ones forever.  Many of my nearest and dearest friends have close ties to officers in this city that risk their lives to protect ours. My heart breaks for them.

Regardless of you ethnicity, religion or political views what happened last night is devastating. It shakes you to the core.  We often see the world and it’s darkness in the media but rarely this close to home.  The blatant disregard for human life that has encapsulated our country brings tears to my eyes.  We cannot continue down this path. We must come together. Stand strong for each other, for our children, our futures and for those that vow to protect and serve us.  Hug your loved ones close. But maybe, just maybe today, hug a stranger.  Share a smile. Salute an officer. Pay happiness forward.  Be thankful and count your blessings. Think before anger engulfs you.  Tell someone you’re sorry.  It costs nothing to be a decent human being and show love.  The world needs it right now. 

Sending all my love and prayers to the victim’s family and the city I will forever be proud to call home.  We are Iowa strong.  

A memorial fund has been started for the fallen officers.  Please consider donating by clicking here.  

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