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The Loss of Family in the Line of Duty

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"The Loss of Family in the Line of Duty"



Today, I witnessed the personal emotions of a 7 year old little boy, the nephew of a police officer killed in the line of duty. Who after staring for sometime at the enormous memorial quilt on display, began to choke up. He was well aware of why the blanket was created, and as his eyes filled with tears, he asked his teacher to please let him leave the room. You could see the little boy's heart was breaking, as the tears continued.


Soon after, my eyes were tearing. The little boy was having a rough time seeing his uncle's name, a fallen hero stitched on the security blanket he came to view. Others in the room were also reacting as complete silence filled the room. It was an eerie silence, almost like it was choreographed to happen at the exact moment it did. You could sense many hearts in the room were touched by this little boy's emotional response to the blanket memorial for his uncle.


Again, I am reminded of why I'm involved in my quilt "Last Call Memorial Quilt." It helped to ease my personal loss, the terrible pain of losing several friends in the line of duty. Two of those officers were very close and dear to my heart. The experience became traumatic, especially when they're close friends it gets up and personal, it's like losing a family member.


After getting through all of the sadness, it took some time to heal. I did not wish to ever attend another funeral of a fallen brother or sister again. Of course, that was a naive thought for anyone who chose to be a police officer; In fact, I was reared in a family of law enforcement officers.


In July of 1998, it happened again, a young trooper lost his life protecting my wonderful state of Louisiana. I'll always remember looking up at the high rise bridge on the west bank of Jefferson. What a sight that was, all you could see for some distance was a steady show of blue lights - all the way to the top of the overpass. The bridge was filled with law enforcement units with police officers, and state troopers standing by and saluting as the profession passed in review.


My Taps Memorial site is dedicated to Trooper Hung Le. It is with great sadness that not only do we lose law enforcement officers, but fire fighters and EMS as well. Here it is only June 28, 2000 and we have already lost 74 Law enforcement officers, 3 K'9 police dogs. Misty was one of them and not only was she a K9, she was a fire dog as well.


Let our hearts never forget those who have paid the ultimate price for us to live in relative safety. To those courageous officers who took an oath to protect and serve, unconditionally.


With a love for the job that is priceless, it takes the tearful eyes of a child to remind us, to open our hearts, souls and eyes again to the killing that continues only too often. To remember, that each patch and each name on the memorial wall never be forgotten. Understanding there are too many officers lost each year, killed in the line of duty. Our brothers and sisters in blue, who are also someone's loving Father, Mother, Husband, Wife, Mommy, Daddy, Uncles and Aunts and even Grandmothers and Grandfathers.


Those brave souls who have left this earth but will live in our hearts forever. And will never be forgotten as they did not die in vain.



Dee Dee Serpas is a retired police officer from Kenner Police Department (Louisiana).  Currently, she is the President of the TAPS Memorial Web site.   Following in the footsteps of her great-grandfather, Sheriff Paul Berthelot, Sheriff of St. John the Baptist Parish, and that of her father, who was president of FOP Lodge 2 in the late 1950s, Dee Dee became a Police Officer. First with the East Jefferson Levee Board Police, she also joined the Kenner Police Department and was the only female to graduate from the academy that year. Later, she joined the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office as a street cop. This makes her the only known female in Louisiana to have held three commissions at the age of 21. Her first book, Behind the Badge in the Atchafalya Swap is due out soon.


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