The past week has been a nightmare four our nation, citizens and police departments. Today, a memorial service was held for the 5 Dallas Police officer that died last week at the hands of a sniper. President Obama and the first lady attended as did President George W. and Mrs. Bush. They gathered to remember the lives of officers Brent Thompson, 43, Lorne Ahrens, 48, Patrick Zamarripa, 32, Michael Krol, 40, and Michael Smith, 55.
In his speech at the memorial service, President Obama stated, “our society doesn’t treat drug addiction and makes it easier for teenagers in some neighborhoods to find a Glock than a computer or a book. Then, the country asks the police to be social workers, parents, teachers or drug counselors. All the while, Obama says, some segments of society don’t want to acknowledge the context: the danger of some of the neighborhoods these police officers are patrolling.” He pointed to the fact that the five officers we acknowledge today, were killed while protecting members of the public at a protest who were upset with the police, who were signing chants and holding signs that were disturbing, yet these police still did their job. A truly selfless act that showed a commitment to something greater than themselves.
Dallas police chief David Brown, whose own son was lost in a police-related shooting where his son shot and killed an officer, has called upon those who are upset by the events of the last week and who are criticizing the work police do, to become a part of the solution. He has invited them to as the Dallas Police Department is accepting applications and in need of brave men and women to become public servants. A move he is receiving a great deal of applause for as he leads his department and city through a time of grieving.
The memorial service was closed to the public, but large crowds gathered outside for many to say a final farewells. Private burial services will be conducted throughout the week.