I attended a fundraiser, at the Boston Beer Garden, sponsored by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
The event, billed as Boston Strong, was planned to raise money for the families of the officer killed and the other officer seriously injured in the firefight that ensued with one of the terrorists in the Boston Marathon attack.
The event’s large turnout was indicative of how much the people of our county appreciate the work of our local police officers and their comrades around the country.
The gathering was more than a fundraiser for the Boston heroes. It was a tribute to all the men and women who put their lives in jeopardy each day on our behalf.
In retrospect, I offer the following tribute on the work of our Collier County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement agencies throughout our country:
“It is only right that we recognize those officers who have sacrificed themselves in the line of duty. But, it is also important that we recognize all of you who risk your lives every day for the safety of all of us.
“You brave men and women are the first line of defense for us vulnerable human beings. Often times you help to save us from ourselves; natural disasters, from accidents, poor judgments and fits of temper.
“This was the case with Charlotte County’s Sgt. Michael Wilson, who gave his life when he responded to a domestic violence call.
“Officers of the law see every person as being a part of his or her own family. Sgt. Wilson leaves behind his immediate family and an even greater family than he ever imagined — his fellow officers, those whom he served during his years of service on the force and those he saved from harm by the intervention that caused his death.
“You help promote a safe society whereby a criminal is prevented from perpetrating property loss, causing injury and even the death of law-abiding citizens.
“Even a seemingly simple duty such as keeping order at a public event has proved to be a dangerous task for police officers. When the explosives were detonated at the Boston Marathon the police responded in a heroic way. They rallied quickly to minister to the injured and prevented what could have been a disastrous panic causing further injuries and deaths.
“Officer Sean A. Collier was fatally shot in a battle with one of the Boston Marathon terrorists and Officer Dick Donahue Jr. was critically wounded in the same incident. Their heroic deeds on behalf of the safety of their fellow human beings must never be forgotten.
“By honoring these heroes the other night, all of you are honored for what you do and for those values for which you stand.
“Because of the sacrifice of these heroes and many others like them, your bond will grow stronger.
“Your concern for these fallen officers and for the loved ones they leave behind is a tribute to the common cord which binds you to each other and your fellow man.
“On behalf of all the citizens that you so generously serve, I thank you.
I pray that Almighty God will watch over you and protect you from harm.
“And, may those who have fallen in the line of duty rest in peace.”