I want you to know that I see you. I see you choose the booth in the restaurant that allows you to have your back against the wall. I see you walking to your next traffic stop while you hope that it isn’t your last. I see you pulled over, two hours past your shift, as you finish your reports under a street light. I see you as you direct traffic in the scorching heat, the gusting snow, and the downpour of rain. I see you being filmed every time you try to do your job. I see you as you watch mainstream media crucify your character while minimizing your cause. I see that you are tired. I see that you are frustrated and misunderstood. I see that you are hurting as the world watches you bury your brothers and sisters that died because they were guilty of one thing; wearing a uniform with a badge. I see you. I see that you are flesh and bones just like me. I see that you are a human being who has a heart that beats for your calling to serve and protect. I see your cause and I want you to know that I appreciate it.
I hear you. I hear the sound of the garage door open after a long night of consistent tragedy. I hear the sounds of your heavy footsteps and I can instantly tell what kind of day it has been for you. I hear the sound of your duty belt hit the kitchen table as you relieve your back from the 30 extra pounds you’ve been carrying all day. I recognize the sound of Velcro as you unstrap your body armor and your work boots. I hear the sound of the refrigerator open as you rummage for leftovers. You’re starving because you often go without breaks and without meals for an entire shift. I hear the sound of your little boy’s bedroom door open as you enter his room. I hear the sound of you kissing his cheek and whispering that you love him. I hear the sound of your heartbeat as you choose to not share your day because you know that it will only scare me. And even though you do not speak, I still hear you. I still know that something happened on your shift that has broken your heart.
I feel you. I feel the difference in the way you hug me before you leave to go to the grocery store and the way you hug me before you leave for one more night on your beat. I feel the grip of your hand as they wheel you back to surgery to fix an injury you have sustained on the job. I feel the wetness of your tears as you try to make sense of the tiny life that was taken by the hands of her parents. I feel the sigh of relief when you see your little boy running towards you after you’ve experienced too much darkness in the world. I feel the sinking of your morale as you watch a very vocal and sparse opposition flood social media with their misplaced passion for their idea of justice. I feel the way you look at me as you read that one more of your brothers or sisters have fallen victim to a hate crime. We both know that it could be our family at any given moment.
I need you. We need you. America needs you. I know that the world isn’t making it any easier for you to wake up with the same passion you had when you first started. I know the world is making it extremely difficult for you to feel like anyone is on your side. I know the world is making you feel like the only allies you have can only be found in each other. I know that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to put your life on the line for a world that has seemingly turned their backs on you. But, I also know that won’t stop you. What the world seems to forget is that you don’t suit up every day for their approval. You don’t put your life on the line so people will sing your praises from the mountain tops. God knows you don’t do it for the money. You do it because it’s your calling. You do it for the generations to come. You do it for the safety of those who do not have the means to protect themselves. You do it because you believe that you can help goodness persevere in the face of evil. You’ve chosen to be a warrior and warriors don’t hang up their hats because of the opinion of someone else.
I wish I knew how to fix it. The only thing I know how to do is support you. I’m aware that there isn’t a magic solution that will make the world see you for who you are; the amazing men and women in blue. I just want you to know that I see you. I need you to know that you are appreciated by a vast majority who is in your corner. I need you to know that you aren’t alone. I need you to feel the presence of those who love and support you. We are rallied behind you and ready to defend your character at any given moment. You are honorable. You are courageous. You are worthy of a nation’s support.
We see you. We need you. We love you. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for getting up again today to protect my family. You are undeniably my heroes. I love you all.
Dedicated to the entire family of The Thin Blue Line.
*In Memory of Officer Ramos and Officer Liu of the New York Police Department*