ARTICLE ABOUT A.J.'s 10th ANNIVERSARY HERE
I have no words to describe A.J.'s funeral. I wasn't there. There was no room in our large church that holds over 1200 people.... there was no room in the overflow locations in the parish hall or school.... there was no room in the parking lots. On the roads. On the rooftops, filled with fellow officers... An outpouring of love and grief for this youngest son in a family of eleven children... an outpouring of love for the men and women who don a vest and go to work to keep the normal folks safe.
The desolate spot where A.J. was killed is no longer desolate. As shown in this article, the spot has been turned into a glorious park. A.J. Sperr Memorial Park.
It's clean and nice and open to the public to stop as you're cruising down I-86 (old Rt. 17 through the Southern Tier, the "Southern Tier Expressway" near where I've set dozens of books) and a sign invites you to stop at it along the highway....
I stopped there last year. Just to see. To pray. To think. I had written the Grace Haven series of books for Love Inspired and used the first names of officers killed in the line of duty for all the male characters... a small tribute to the people who risk so much for me. For mine. For all of us.
The day I stopped on my way home from NYC there was a wedding going on in one part of the park.
Kids were playing on the playground.
A photographer was shooting pics of groomsmen, bridesmaids, guests...
Life shimmered where death had prevailed.
It was beautiful.
I didn't know A.J. personally. I didn't have to. I knew some of his family, their friends, their in-laws... I knew the pain that reverberated through our church and our community. And I saw those shots of men and women in blue, standing on rooftops, praying.
|Building the playground....|
So yesterday, after hearing about another young officer gunned down in Colorado Springs (the third Colorado officer killed in the last five weeks) grandson Logan and I baked cookies and brownies. We took them to the Sheriff's substation to Take a Cop a Cookie.... Officers. Sheriffs. Deputies. Troopers... Anyone who stands for law and order and justice in a free land should be respected. The few bad apples do not define the strength of a good police force... And they get sorted out and tossed aside.
It should never be open season on cops, and those of us who respect police, who believe in the order of law, need to let our voices be heard, loud and clear.
|Cub Scout Logan Blodgett armed with "Thank You" cookies!|
And it never hurts to take a cop a cookie!
Multi-published inspirational author Ruthy Logan Herne has worked with multiple officers and deputies over the years... and now has several young deputies in her extended family and friends... and she wants every one of them to come home at night to their wives... kids.... moms.... girlfriends.... dads.... She writes from her farm in Western New York and it's no mistake that she uses lawmen in a whole lot of books... because they make great heroes. Friend Ruthy on Facebook, follow her on Twitter or stop by her website ruthloganherne.com...
She loves to chat with people!