You may have noticed that we recently started tagging many of our posts with the hashtag #thatsBLUE. We’ve been looking for a phrase to “coin” as part of our BLUE 815 brand, and this one seems to fit us well.
So what does it mean? Well, there are so many things it means that I’m not sure where to begin. Simply put, #thatsBLUE represents so much for those of us who understand what it is to be blue. When you start to write all that out, one by one, the list incorporates so many moments, so many emotions, and I know we will never list them all here. The idea is, it’s every frustrating, scary, happy, uplifting, funny, sad, unimaginably awful part of law enforcement. It’s the things everyone sees, the things no one hears about, and the things only some can even begin to understand.
It’s the officer who puts on his or her badge and kisses their family goodbye as they head into their shift.
It’s the one who answers the call in the middle of the night and works that call until his actual shift begins.
It’s the sound of the Kevlar being unvelcroed, and the quiet sigh of relief in knowing that they made it home.
It's fighting the good fight.
It’s St. Michael the Archangel.
It's Proverbs 28:1, Psalm 144:1, Joshua 1:9, Matthew 5:9; John 15:13; Isaiah 6:8.
It’s the officer who walks the school building each day, high-fiving kids, playing tag, or shooting hoops at recess.
It’s setting up a bike repair shop for kids and teaching them how to fix up a bike they can then take home and ride. Sometimes it’s even teaching them how to ride it.
It’s feeling a little safer, knowing an officer lives next door.
It’s the officer who stands tall, quiet, proud listening to the shouts and screams of strangers who have no respect or care for the human being under the uniform.
It’s routinely pulling someone over for their safety and everyone else’s. Hoping the cars that pass by during the stop give you the space you need to work.
It’s sometimes unexpectedly delivering a baby on that roadside.
It’s when motorists follow move over laws.
It’s when they don’t.
It’s when that traffic stop turns out anything but routine.
It’s the officer buying groceries for the single mom with four mouths to feed, or the one who says “I got it” for the kid in line at McDonald’s who realizes he doesn’t have the money to cover what he just ordered.
It’s the people who quietly ask their server for the officer’s check who they see sitting at the restaurant counter sipping on a much-needed cup of coffee waiting for dinner to-go.
It's the indescribable loyalty and love between a K9 and his human partner.
It’s agencies across the country putting on a community picnic, cooking hotdogs, painting faces, and dancing in the streets.
It’s the sound of sirens and the flashing of lights while rushing to the next call.
It’s the officers we all see running in while everyone else runs out.
It’s praying harder than you ever have before; for steadfastness and calm, for safety, for recovery, for strength.
It’s a line of squad cars filled with brothers and sisters escorting their fallen comrade on the final ride.
It’s those who line that route with flags and signs. The ones who stand at attention, full salute. Sometimes for hours, in the cold, in the rain, in the blasting sun.
It’s a mourning band over a badge. And a pile of flowers and momentos as a show of gratitude and support.
It’s giving literally everything - your life - to save others.
An empty chair, inverted glass, red rose, white gloves, lemon, and salt placed on America’s White Table.
It’s the too many who get left behind to pick up the pieces that can never be whole again.
It’s standing out and holding a flag to honor because on your darkest day, someone did that for you, too.
It’s the bagpipes and the 21-gun salutes. Amazing Grace.
It’s One Hell of an Amen. And a folded flag handed over to a broken family.
It’s the sacred place with too many special names carved into stone.
It’s May 15th. And January 9th.
It’s a young boy who runs a mile for each fallen hero; or a young girl who makes bears from their uniform shirts.
It’s the child who wants to be a police officer when he grows up.
It’s the blue porch light shining bright. Or a beautifully illuminated bridge.
It’s those who run the race in full gear because one of their own can’t.
It’s the ones who ride to remember.
It’s those who show up time after time, the ones who make sure we never forget.
Only some understand.