I admit, I had something else rumbling around in my head for a post. And then during a report about yet another ambush of police officers, this time in Iowa, I saw the video below.
In case you haven’t heard, these two officers were ambushed by Scott Michael Greene, a white middle aged man, in Urbandale, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines. He has been arrested now, thank heavens, but not before changing the lives of the families of the officers, the Police Department, and the citizens there.
It was the response of one such citizen to which we now turn as captured on this video which just blew me away:
If you missed it, this young woman told the officer this is what she does in times like this: she feeds people, and she wanted to make sure he and the others were hydrating and eating. She said she didn’t know what else to do than that. The officer asked her for prayers, a request she quickly agreed to fulfill.
What a moment that was. That moment when this young woman decided to reach out to this officer. She didn’t know the whole thing would be filmed. She just wanted to do something, anything, to let this officer know that the people whom he swore to protect were with him, with his department. That they were there for him, for them.
This moved me on such a deep level, one that surprised me. I could barely even think about it without starting to cry. No, weep – that is a more appropriate.
As I have continued to reflect upon this, and why it impacted me so much, one thing struck me: this is who we are. This is who Americans are. We comfort. We nurture. We pray. This is who we have always been, a people who come together when times are hard, or when terrible tragedies hit. We don’t care about skin color or politics. We are just there for each other., like this young woman who took it upon herself to comfort, to nurture, and to promise to pray, for this police officer and the others in his department devastated by this horrible attack on two of their own.
Have we forgotten this? That this is who we are? Not that people don’t reach out when there has been some big catastrophe, or that we don’t send money to help out. We definitely do that, and people often comment on how Americans are generous people.
But I mean for someone who is willing to just walk up to another human being, and reach out to them to let them know they are loved when they know they are hurting. That’s what I mean.
For a stranger to show that kindness, that generosity of spirit, that generosity of the heart, THAT is what has defined us as Americans.
We need to get back to this kind of behavior, this best selves of Americans. We need to stop allowing politicians, of ALL people, to divide us. I mean, c’mon – most politicians are not the best of people on a GOOD day – just look at the two nominees for President. Am I right? Yeah.So why the HELL are we allowing people like that to divide us, to pit us against each other? Why do we enthusiastically cheer on people who talk smack about others, casting aspersions left and right with no basis in fact?
Why do we not expect people to act their best, to BE their best, to be AMERICANS and all the good that should mean? Why is it that when a young woman reaches out to an officer in her community with love and kindness, it MAKES THE NEWS?? Doesn’t that say something? I mean, good on this young woman. She clearly was reared correctly. Her kind, loving heart are truly a gift to behold, without a doubt. I hope she knows what her good deed today did not just for that police officer, but for people all over. What an amazing young woman she is…
But that used to be the norm for us, not the exception. Maybe I am too jaded from focusing on politics so much, but judging from the way people talk to each other at online sites, even moderate ones, even ones that are supposed to be non-partisan, I don’t think so.The vitriol, the vehemence, the degrading, demeaning language people direct at total strangers, is appalling. Never mind people who have ended friendships out of their allegiance to a POLITICIAN. Wow.
I admit, I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. I hope that there are millions of people out there like this young woman, and the police officer. I hope that maybe more acts of true kindness like this one will move people to stop seeing their fellow citizens as the enemy. That would be a start…
Before I close, I want to share my deepest sympathies with the Urbandale Police Department over the senseless loss of two of their finest. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen, and with the Department.
If you are so inclined, you can make a donation to the Des Moines Police Officers Credit Union to help the families of these two fallen officers (h/t Steve Deace).
I offer this piece for them and hope it brings a small measure of comfort at this difficult time:
This is an Open Thread…