A Fitting End For Four Fallen Heroes

March 27, 2009 | Karin's Blog | 4 comments

I just spent the last four hours watching the live memorial service for the four slain Oakland police officers.  Over 25K mourners attended the services.  They filled the Oracle Arena and spilled over into the Coliseum. There were officers from as far away as NY, a contingent of Royal Canadian Mounties, as well as officers from every state in the union.  The Arena was of sea of blue and shining brass.
The mournful sound of the bagpipes filled the Arena as each flag draped casket was brought into the flower festooned Arena followed by their grieving families. A 21 gun salute followed as an honor guard took position to watch over their fallen comrades, their heads bowed, their white gloved hands clasped before them.  Every ten minutes the guard changed. Dignitaries, fellow officers and friends and family spoke. After the flag ceremony and presentation a lone bugler played taps, then the bagpipes played Amazing Grace as each casket followed by family exited the Arena. Outside there was a cannon salute, and a flyover of 20 helicopters from agencies across California. OFD mounted a flag between two hook and ladders that each hearse drove beneath to the services and back under when they left for the cemeteries.  Hundreds and hundreds of motor officers along with scores of squad cars formed a formidable motorcade for each officer’s procession.  Highways were shut down, airspace quieted.  Civilians watched along the roads in quiet respect. Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstien and Governor Schwartzenager were in attendance and each spoke.  But the truly heart breaking words came from the fallen officer’s fellow officers and family.
Amazing, heart-wrenching and poignant.  I haven’t cried so long in years, hell, ever.
May the four officers rest in peace. 


  1. J. Carson Black

    Karin, I honor their service. The former police officer I work with tells me that every time he left the house, he knew it was possible it would be for the last time, wife and kids notwithstanding. It was a presence in his life that made him appreciate his family all the more.

    Most of us have had close calls at one time or another. But cops have them all the time.

  2. Cele

    It is truly heartbreaking and awe inspiring that people will put on a uniform each and everyday with the intent to do good and help people. People who often deserve help nor respect help.

  3. HollyD

    My heart breaks for the loss of these officers, their families, and for their fellow officers.

    One article I read, had a quote from a member of the gunman’s family saying that their hearts went out the officer’s families and that their family member was not a monster. I think a person who kills 4 people in cold blood IS a monster.

  4. Hubby

    This Monster’s DNA has been linked to the rape of a 12 year old girl and he was the prime suspect. After shooting the two motor officers at the traffic stop, this Monster walked up on them and shot them both once more in the head at point blank range. Back in his apt. and armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, he took nothing but head shots on the SWAT team. This individual was the epitome of the word monster.

    Cops don’t dwell on the knowledge that everyday could be their last. If they did, they couldn’t do the job. It’s always there but not thought of, not spoken about. When a fell officer falls it’s an inescapable reality gut check and it hurts, deeply, even in retirement. Four officers in one incident. I just don’t have the words.

    Protect and Serve – verbs from middle English: The willingness to help others who often dispise you. The ability to see the worse in what man can do to fellow man. The sacrifice of personal time with family for strangers. The acceptance of being a rough man in a dark place so that others may sleep peacefully. The knowledge that you may have to make the ultimate sacrifice and the willingness to do so.

    While one is the definition of monster, these four officers define hero.

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