Just two weeks since the four officers in Oakland gave their lives in service, today, Saturday, April 4th, we have news that THREE MORE officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty, in Pittsburgh.
This time, the gunman has been captured.
Our hearts go out to the families of the brave men who were murdered and their comrades in blue who served with them.
May they rest in Eternal Peace.
Thanatology / Traumatology
The CARE is in the CARING _________________________________
The CARE is in the CARING. M.H. - Thanatology / Traumatology - MPH, MS, MS, LSPT, CT, FT, CPE
It's hard to believe that something like this could happen again, so soon after the tragedy in Oakland. But it has and it's very hard to accept. And add these two tragedies to the massacres in Alabama, Binghamton, New York and the killing of 5 children in Washington State....well all I can say is that its just mind boggling. Three more dedicated Police Officers ambushed and murdered in one incident by a young maniac who planned it all out and somehow is still alive, himself. Now three more families have no fathers and Police Officers and all reasonable people across the country lose three more good guys. The grief that I saw in the news reports out of Pittsburgh was palpable and it touched me as if it had happened in my own backyard.
National Police Week is coming up and I know that this year the ceremonies and even the celebrations will all be even more subdued as we remember our senselessly slain colleagues, our brothers. From Oakland and now Pittsburgh. I know that even though I won't be in DC for the candleight vigil, I'll have a candle (or candles) burning in honor of our colleagues from Pittsburgh and also from Oakland. What is this country coming to? The little rugrat who murdered the three Officers deserves the same fate as those he killed.
I remember March 21, 2009. It was a sunny Saturday under a clear blue sky scrubbed clean by winter rains. Spring was in full bloom. Shortly after 1 p.m., all hell broke loose. In what began as a traffic stop, Oakland police Officer John Hege and Sgt. Mark Dunakin were fatally shot on MacArthur Boulevard when motorist Lovelle Mixon emerged from his vehicle and opened fire. About two hours later, Mixon, now hiding in a building and armed with an assault rifle, killed Oakland police Sgts. Daniel Sakai and Ervin Romans when their SWAT team entered the apartment. The first anniversary marking the slayings of the four police officers will be a low-key event in Oakland, but many Bay Area residents, in some manner or other, will recall in their minds, or with others, the events of that day. It was one of the worst tragedies in U.S. law enforcement history and the lowest day in the history of the Oakland Police Department. For many members of the Oakland Police Department, it is an event that haunts them, said Michael Palmertree, a licensed psychotherapist who has worked with the department for 30 years. He also has provided counseling for police officers in San Jose, San Mateo, Vallejo and the state Department of Justice. "Any time you lose a fellow officer like that, it's traumatic," Palmertree said. "To have four (officers) killed in the same day is hard to get your mind around. It's hard to grieve. It's almost too much."
Today we hear of a death not of one in Blue but of a legend whose life is a metaphor of the LGBT struggle, the multiple prejudices we fight and the unmatched contributions we make to society.
I have this morning read several announcements and a few articles of the death of Lena Horne, age 92.
Her life story is both of a gut-wrenching struggle against prejudice and the soaring magnificence of her voice and talent. And, yes, she was beautiful. But, for me, her striking beauty was the least important. For me, I prefer to honor her struggle by recalling her talent, her voice, her inspiration. Truly... that voice!... OH! that VOICE! It makes me smile and causes me to gasp when, even only in my mind, I can replay "Stormy Weather."
I know I am getting old when the phrase "The Good Old Days" is, to me, much more than a cheeky giggle, uttered by a well-meaning yet totally uncomprehending youngster. Melody, tone, pitch, phrasing, delivery from the soul... all presented with skill that so few are blessed to have. Those came with the good old days.
AND, now, what a devastating crash of spirit - to me - when I read the oh-so-accurate comment of one poster who wrote: "Unfortunately, today, the ones for whom Lena broke barriers probably don't even know who she was cause they're listening to auto tunin about booty butt cheeks."
I am so painfully sorry, Lena. Oh please may it be that your legacy not live today and tomorrow in talentless screeching about booty butt cheeks.
The CARE is in the CARING. M.H. - Thanatology / Traumatology - MPH, MS, MS, LSPT, CT, FT, CPE
Many years ago, I was blessed to have the chance to see Lena Horne in her one woman show "The Lady And Her Music" She walked on to the stage at the Netherlander Theater in New York, and for two hours she knocked your socks off. She was a first class act all the way. The orchestra, the gowns and her sultry voice made it an evening to remember. I have the tape of that show and to this day, I play in in my car and at home. I still sounds just as fresh today as it was the night I saw the show. Bear, your right when you say It's not about the booty cheeks, It's about talent. I always laugh at the young female "entertainers" who are selling nothing more than sex as they shake their asses and tits in front of the camera. Not to mention the "grab their crotch" boys who find their talent in big white smiles and pretty abs. These no real talent idiots will soon fade into the memories of the juke box while Lena, Frank, Bennett, Garland, and just a few others, will live in our hearts forever.
I walk around heavy hearted and sad Night comes around and I'm still felling bad Rain pouring down driving every hope I had This pittering, pattering, beating and spattering dives me mad Lord , lord, Lord, Lord. This misery is just too much for me Can't go on, every thing I had is gone Stormy weather. Since my man and I ain't together Keeps raining all the time.
To me, that sounds a lot better than"Strike the pose. Vogue" or "living La Vida, Vida, Vida Loca."
A beautiful woman who was and is a legend. Instead of posting the video of "Stormy Weather", which everyone else is posting on news sites,etc, I'm posting, "Where Or When".
And yes.....Lena Horne could teach a lesson to the numerous rump shakers with some of the whiny, screamy, screechy and horrible voices out there. Lena knew how to do sing as opposed to what passes for singing these days.
I will always remember some of the most profound lyrics that Lena Horne ever sang. It was in The Wiz when she played Glenda The Good Witch.......
Believe in yourself, Right from the start You've got to believe in the magic right there in your heart Believe all these things not because I told you to You're got to believe in yourself As I believe in you.
I believe in myself and I believe in the LGBT community.
This week I have been compiling a list of various documentation to submit with my application to start working on a third masters degree. I came across something I wrote two years ago which I presented at the GOAL International Conference in Wash. D.C. I would like to share it with you.
The brave officers who recently fell in the line of duty in Florida have been laid to rest. The funerals are complete but the grief in our hearts and the hearts of the officer's families and their PD brothers and sisters in blue is fresh.
I respectfully submit the thoughts below...
The Blue Line Eternal
Among our Ranks and in Our Mission to Protect and Serve, The CARE is in the CARING
Let us Honor those with whom we have served and under our care who have gone before us…
From the dawn of your birth To the sunset of your death We honor You.
From the Missions you completed To your duties left undone We honor you.
From the seasons of your being Through the cycle of your life We honor you.
From the essence of all that was the worldly you and the knowledge that you touched us… and we touched you as our paths crossed, We honor you.
And let us consider that those whom we honor today may have a message for us…
When I die, if you need me Put your arms around someone and give them what you need to give me.
I want to give you something Something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ve known and loved And if you cannot give me away, At least let me live in your heart and not in your mind.
Love doesn’t die; people do So when all that is left of me is Love, Give me away.
Let us now take a few moments for private, silent thought To remember and honor those who have gone before us.
Blessings upon you.
[/center] Mark Hartness Thanatology / Traumatology
The CARE is in the CARING _________________________ ______________________________________________
I also have a video I took in April at an NYPD function where Pat is in the background. It was the last time I saw him. Burner was at the dinner as well but he didn't know Pat. I may or may not post it. I don't know.
And now an organization that works to bring honor to fallen LGBTs and their bereaved survivors in my field of Thanatology:
The "LGBT Fallen Heroes Fund" is an organization that seeks to identify, honor and memorialize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) police, firefighters, military, and EMS that have given their lives in service to their communities.
Many of these LGBT professionals are forced to hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identities in order to avoid being discriminated against, bullied, or even fired. This project aims to bring visibility to individuals who may have had to sacrifice their own freedom of self-expression in order to serve in the line of duty.....
..... The "LGBT Fallen Heroes Fund" is currently engaged in an effort to search for the survivors of LGBT police, firefighters, military and EMS personnel who have died in the line of duty. Gunn stressed that the group handles these matters with both sensitivity and compassion.