Friday, May 22, 2015

29th Annual Police Memorial Breakfast: My Remarks

Good morning. Thank you all for joining us here today for the 29th Annual Police Memorial Breakfast, one of our City’s most honored traditions.

This day would not be possible without the generous support of the St. Louis Police Foundation led by their President Doug Albrecht and the continued support for 3 years now of Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield. Thank you Doug, thank you Jeanne and thank you Rex.

On this day, our service as police officers binds us together across all imaginable boundaries – it binds the present with the past, the living with the dead, the yet unknown with the never-to-be-forgotten.

As every member of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and every officer of every agency here today can attest, law enforcement has come together over this past year, rising to every occasion, meeting and exceeding every expectation and filling all those who support law enforcement with pride, admiration and respect.

Today, as we gather to remember the ones who are not here with us, the ones we've lost, it is not a time for sorrow. Today is a time for gratitude, remembrance and honor.

The names we think about today do not live only in our tears; they live in a million moments, fondly recalled within the collective memory of our police family. One thing I know about police families, we never forget.

On this issue, General George S. Patton gave us guidance by saying, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”

Patton was right.

164 times we have come together to honor such men. 164 times is too many. Even one is too many. But in the profession we all choose, reality weighs very heavy.

The lives we remember here today are tragic. But they are also heroic, exemplary and inspiring.

For though all men must die, only the greatest lead lives of service.

Every one of the officers we remember this morning led a life of service, and they paid the ultimate price for it, so that others, so that we, could live in peace and in safety.

As Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Let us be all thankful that these 164 men led lives of service committed to their chosen profession.

Thank you for being here today. God bless you and God bless our police officers.

Memorial Breakfast Video Production donated by: Illustrated Man, Inc.