In my thoughts

A neighbor of mine who works in law enforcement showed up at the bus stop today looking incredibly handsome in a beautiful dark suit.  “Going to court?” I asked.  No, the answer was much sadder than a court appearance.  He and a contingent from his office are going to the funeral of the four police officers murdered in Oakland earlier this week.  Oakland is planning for and staging an impressive event:

– The public memorial for Oakland’s four fallen police officers will be 11 a.m. Friday at Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way.

– The services will be led by the Rev. Jayson Landeza, chaplain of the Oakland Police Department. Organizers are expecting more than 12,000, including uniformed officers from police agencies around the country.

– Overflow crowds will be invited to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where a big screen will broadcast the service.

I heard from another source that as many as 80 police officers will be arriving from Boston alone, and my friend told me that Scotland Yard has sent representatives too:

Law enforcement officers from all 50 states and a handful of foreign countries are expected to pour into the Oracle Arena for an 11 a.m. funeral honoring the four officers killed in related shooting incidents last Saturday.

A list of tentative speakers includes acting police Chief Howard Jordan, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, state Attorney General Jerry Brown, and family and friends of the officers. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is scheduled to meet privately with the families before the service around 10:15 a.m., police said.

I always view tragedies like this as reminders — reminders not to wait until it’s too late to say how you value someone.  No matter the heart-felt outpouring at today’s memorial service, friends, family, colleagues and politicos will be saying things that Sgts. Mark Dunakin, 40, Erv Romans, 43, Daniel Sakai, 35, and Officer John Hege, 41, won’t be around to hear.

When my Mom turned 80, I temporarily stole her address book and wrote to every living person in it asking them to send a letter with a personal message and a remembrance about her.  Photos would be welcome too.  My sister, who is artistic, then assembled the dozens of responses in a beautiful album.  My mother almost cried when she got the album and (this is true) carried it with her everywhere she went for almost a year.  To know, not only that her friends loved and valued her, but why they did so, meant everything to her.

Don’t wait until those near you die before you open your mouth and say the things you should have said before.  Tell your family members you love them — and tell them why.  Give your friend a true compliment — a deep one, about his or her personality, not just the usual “great shirt,” or “nice hair” kind of thing.  Praise a colleague’s work.  These things matter, and one of the greatest regrets we always have when people die is all the things we should have said before.

*Welcome, Anchoress and American Digest readers.  I appreciate your taking the time to check out this post.*

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Comments

  1. Mike Devx says

    >> I temporarily stole her address book and wrote to every living person in it asking them to send a letter with a personal message and a remembrance about her. Photos would be welcome too. My sister, who is artistic, then assembled the dozens of responses in a beautiful album. My mother almost cried when she got the album and (this is true) carried it with her everywhere she went for almost a year.

    What a beautiful, touching action, Book! How wonderful!

  2. suek says

    And the Mayor??? Will he attend?

    How about protesting? I understand there was a demonstration yesterday for the “poor” victim who shot the police… Will they dare show up at the funeral, or the attendant services?

  3. says

    We’re shouldn’t give that demonstration too much importance. The people exhibitionistically seeking attention don’t deserve it. It was microscopically small — and we know that every tragedy always brings out the crackpots. The real news, the important news, is the outpouring of supporting from the community and the nation for the fallen officers. We hang onto that thought as a reminder that Americans are fundamentally good and law-abiding people.

  4. suek says

    Never forget that the “Black Death” was caused by fleas. “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow” etc etc and so forth.

    I understand what you’re saying, but as long as they’re out there, they can cause mighty mischief. Check this out:

    http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/27/the-coming-g20-riots-the-spread-of-mob-rule/

    Just because they’re small in numbers doesn’t mean they can’t do a lot of damage. The Revolutionaries that established the US as a separate nation were only about 3% of the population, if what I read is correct. Those who study this more than I have are organizing as “Three percenters”… So…don’t dismiss them lightly.

  5. Quisp says

    Just because they’re small in numbers doesn’t mean they can’t do a lot of damage.

    I imagine any AIG exec would also tell you that a lot depends on which side the media decides to champion as well. That’s why “hero” in a headline about a child-raping cop killer is so infuriating.

  6. suek says

    >>That’s why “hero” in a headline about a child-raping cop killer is so infuriating.>>

    I’m sure the thought has occurred to you as it has to me that if the cops would just stay home one day, and let us know what day they plan that inaction, a lot of things could be taken care of. You can bet that the anarchists(those who were left) would be up in arms about the cops not doing their jobs…!!

  7. says

    It was microscopically small — and we know that every tragedy always brings out the crackpots.

    The good thing about such is that they tend to congregate and made themselves nice and juicy targets for an atmospheric fuel explosion that’ll cook em up good.

  8. suek says

    >>Go check her out!>>

    Yeah yeah yeah. Just what I need – another blog to add to my list to check out!

    I wish I had a way to organize the blogs I like into a single blog. I know multiple is actually better… but I feel a need to connect the like thinking people. One of the things I particularly like about the internet is that it allows a connection between people that just wouldn’t be possible in the physical world, due to geographical distance or just so many people whose thoughts and thought processes are invisible. It’s not like we wear labels that would identify ourselves to other like minded souls!

    Then I think that with what appears to be coming down the pike, maybe anonymity is best – but then you have the problem of being unable to organize any resistance. Who can you trust?

  9. Mike Devx says

    suek #13:

    >> I wish I had a way to organize the blogs I like into a single blog.

    I can’t offer a suggestion for precisely that, suek. (Others here might know of a way!)

    But I have done something that approximates that, which may help:

    - What browser do you use? I use Safari on my Mac, and it allows me to create, not just one bookmark list, but in that list, to create bookmark folders.

    - Therefore I’ve organized bookmark folders that I happen to have called:
    - political
    polA
    polB
    polC

    polF

    In each of the pol folders, I have 8-12 bookmarks.
    polA currently has my “best” 10.
    polB has my “next best” 12.
    and so on.

    I can click on the folder and select, basically, “open all links in tabs” and get them all open in one window, side by side, and then easily switch among them all. (Though it does take a while for them all to load…)

    As I run across new blogs that I want to track, I make an instant decision on their “importance”, and I add them to the appropriate folder. Every so often I go back and reorganize.

    Some days I never visit them. Other days I have time to peruse only polA and polB. And so on…

    I’ve examined Windows Internet Explorer on my work laptop, and my version at least does have a somewhat clunkier bookmarks’ folder capability as well; it’s harder to keep organized but can be done.

    Anyway, given my browser’s capabilities, that’s my organizational approach, for what it is worth.

  10. suek says

    I’ve thought of something like that…I use Firefox, and my bookmark section needs to be totally reorganized. I used Mozilla on my old hard drive, but ran into undiagnosed problems and moved that hard drive into a second computer (which I’m using now). The second computer has the primary hard drive, and already had Firefox installed. Somehow, in adding the other hard drive, the Mozilla program disappeared along with my old bookmarks. Fortunately, at one point I’d saved them to a Word program and was able to re-import them, but not till I’d started a new set of bookmarks. So I have duplicate folders for “Blogs” for example. I’ve also found that a number of bookmarked urls tend to disappear if I haven’t checked them in a while. So…I need to do some bookmark housekeeping, and I just haven’t done it. I’ve considered a system something like you mention … a “Daily” “Weekly” and “Sometimes” blog grouping… or an “On trial” folder…or some such.

    I did find that I probably need to do a reorganization alphabetically to start with – there are duplicate listings, and alphabetizing is the quickest way to find them – unless they’re in different folders, which also happens.

    Sigh. I also need to defrag, check the register again, all that stuff. Recopy the bookmarks and export them to Word again…but I should reorganize again, and that isn’t going to happen _real_ soon – so maybe export now, reorganize and then re-export again.

    Humph. Think I’ll go out and plant my tomatoes. I’m thinking about buying some of the Texas Tomato Towers this year. Very expensive, but ought to last me the rest of my life. I bought the 4 ft ones from Park Seeds, but they weren’t big enough to do the job. I’d really like to buy just three and send the other three to my son, but I suspect that would double the cost of shipping… I don’t really need six (how they’re packed). I don’t mess with those little cone shaped ones they sell in the garden centers – they’re worthless. I’d rather get the concrete support wire than those – problem with concrete support wire is that it rusts. And doesn’t store flat.

    Anything but housekeeping the computer…!!

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