Thursday, June 12, 2008
Rest in Peace, Officer Bahr
The funeral for Officer Todd Bahr was today.
Officer Bahr was killed in the line of duty on Friday, shot in the head, probably by a man who was later killed in a shoot-out with police (the police didn't kill him; the coward* shot himself). For some places, the idea of a shoot-out might be a daily, no-longer-newsworthy occurrence. Here, it is a shock beyond comprehension.
We haven't lost an officer in the line of duty since 1964.
Mom wanted to see the procession, and I thought it was a good idea. I hadn't pulled Joey from school, but I thought Andy should see it. The escort of mounted officers... the lines of officers from all over the region, both Virginia and Maryland... the emergency vehicles. Two ambulance drivers who were not able to go to the funeral stopped at the roadside with us (and several dozen other cars) to see the procession, to take photos and footage for their comrades who remained on call. The entrance to the cemetery was flanked by fire engines, their ladders up to hold the flag directly over the entrance. The procession took about 45 minutes to pass (we didn't get to see the whole thing- only about 1/2 an hour).
I agree with mom- I think they should have closed schools and lined the route, had the children watch the display of respect and mourning for this person.
Police officers put their lives on the line for us every day, so we can be protected, we can be helped, we can have someone to turn to when trouble strikes. Every child in this city should have seen what this means when an officer is killed. They should have stood there and shown their respect, they should see the lives and families who risk everything, every day, so they can go to safe schools, ride on safe streets, walk on safe sidewalks. They should see how precious a single life is and can be.
I am sorry I never met Officer Bahr- at least not knowingly. I thank him and his family for their efforts and sacrifice in keeping my community safe.
May we never have such a procession again.
*If it proves to be, as we all suspect, that this person really is the person who murdered Officer Bahr, please substitute any and all deragatory terms of choice here. This is a family site, but we invite you to use your own imagination.