The photos for this week might seem like an odd choice. They aren’t stereotypically patriotic (the United States celebrates the Fourth of July, marking our independence from Britain, on Saturday), but I am reminded of the years that I was a member of the Hattiesburg Jaycees. Every Fourth, the Jaycees hosted Cook-out for Cops, which was just a way for us to remember that while later that evening (or afternoon as the case might be) we would be partying and celebrating, our first responders – the police, the firefighters, the dispatchers, the EMS crews – would be on watch and call, ready to respond. To spend a few hours serving that population was a small thing (even though one year I made 10 pounds of potato salad…have you ever made 10 pounds of potato salad) that meant a lot to quite a few.
Almost two months ago, the first responders in the Hattiesburg community were devastated by the murders of Hattiesburg Police Department Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate. May 9 shattered the illusion of safety that many people held – Officers Deen and Tate were the first officers killed in the line of duty in 30 years in Hattiesburg. I wrote about my thoughts at the time of the shootings and in the aftermath, but one of the things that I know is that as time moves on, we begin to forget. Because we aren’t members of the family or loved ones, they begin to slip from our memories.
They never slip from the memories of the families, though, and from personal experience, one of the painful parts of grieving is feeling like you and your family are forgotten.
In that light, as we move into celebration and get further away from May 9, I’d like to pause and remember Officers Deen and Tate with photos from the memorial that sprang up where both officers were murdered.
And yes – blessed are the peacemakers.
I hope you have a happy Fourth, and your weekend is filled with joy and fun, mixed with safety (please don’t blow an appendage off or start a fire). We are hosting friends and family for the Fourth in conjunction with an Open House to welcome people to our new home. There’s still a ton of work to be done in order to make that happen, but we are blessed to have Sweet Husband’s parents coming down today to help us put finishing touches (for now) on the house and prep.
Photo Friday Link-Up
Thank you all for sticking with me and this link-up during the process of our move and settling in to the new house. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to participate this weekend, but I’m hoping that after everything gets done tomorrow, after everyone has gone to bed, I can get back to giving y’all the attention you deserve! I’ve missed you and participating with you.
Y’all are doing and admirable job of keeping up our community, and I’m so thankful! Y’all are doing such a great job that we had a 3-way tie for most viewed link! Last week y’all loved Toddlers on Tour and a trip to the Kota Kinabalu Nature Reserve, Kathy of You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out’s ode to Procrastination, and Photographing New Zealand’s Pukekura Fernery and Display House.
Our last added link last week came from Claudia at Images by CW. If you haven’t yet, consider joining her S-ART-urday link-up. There are some wonderful participants, and I always am amazed by the ways people manipulate their photos and create true ART with them.
As always, thank you for your participation and thank you for making your way around to other people who are participating. I cannot wait to get back to participating with y’all!