We call them heroes; they don’t see it (OPINION)

Photo by Linda Graindourze

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Dallas Hyland is a columnist for St. George News and blogs as The Amateur Broad Thinker. The opinions stated in this article are solely his own and not those of St. George News.

First and foremost, my deepest condolences to the family and friends of fallen Officer Jared Francom. That he died in the line of duty hardly assuages the grief and the shock of his violent and untimely death.

In the coming days and weeks, perhaps months, those involved will sift through the process of determining what went wrong and the better part of our humanity will find reconciliation in at least the fact that we can learn from our mistakes.

What may be revealed will include, but not be limited to, mistakes in protocol on behalf of the officer’s and possible violations of the civil liberties of the defendant.

This process can appear to those most impacted by the event as unsavory because, as with everything, what happened is complicated. To get at the truth of it, a level of scrutiny and commitment to the truth is required and will likely reveal things contrary to the pedestal-like standard we tend to place our community servants on, be they police, fire, military, even teachers.

But I would submit to you the only people really griping about this scrutiny are those on the outside looking in. The men and women who swear their oaths and dutifully uphold them would have it no other way.

That is because, despite the unfortunate and sometimes tragic things that take place in the lives of line of duty people, there is among them a deeply imbedded belief that their sacrifices stand for something and mean something. This is why we hold them in such high regard and share such an immense burden of grief with their ranks when one of them falls.

By the very nature of their jobs, sacrifice is not a secondary thing brought about by carefully weighed decisions. Sacrifice is their job and at times it goes beyond that of time and resources and involves the most valuable thing they have to give: their lives.

And when a tragedy like this occurs, unlike most people, these servants of our community do not miss a step in continuing to do their jobs without wavering. They wear there grief with a measure of professionalism that, in my honest evaluation, warrants immense respect.

You’ll notice I am not using the word “hero” and it is quite intentional.

You will not likely find too many people in these professions who are comfortable with being ascribed such a word.

This is because those who answer the call do not see it as anything more extraordinary than the people who do any other job with a measure of commitment and excellence. It is those of us in the public who deem them heroes because of the nature of their work and, while this is certainly understandable, what this public may not understand is the definition of heroism. But the rank and file does, and while they are largely gracious of public admonitions of heroism, you will find them often wary of it.

They will say, “I was only doing my job.”

Never mistake this for false humility people. It simply is not.

On a final note, I would assert that those in the line of duty would support and defend even the abhorrent, childish, and classless behavior of the Westboro Baptist Church wanting to protest Officer Francom’s funeral.

Funny they never showed up.

At their best, our rank and file sees the liberty they swear to defend and uphold it as far-too-precious a thing to squander on emotion.

I grieve for you and with you, friends.

See you out there.

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Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.


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1 Comment

  • Timothy Phelps January 13, 2012 at 3:54 am


    Sanctimonious, human-worshipping drivel.

    When you speak to those contemplating death, eternity, and the relationship between this vapor of vanity called human life and that never-ending condition — you should have more honesty and gravity.

    Here is the only relevant standard: “let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man”. Ecclesiastes 12:13

    Stop worshipping man, whose breath is in his nostrils. You only serve up confusion and rebellion with such drivel

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