I looked up the definition of the word hero in the dictionary today. It had several meanings, but the best one was “one who shows great courage.” Sadly, two police officers proved this to be true today with their lives. Until today, the Santa Cruz, California, police department had never lost anyone in the line of duty. Two of their police officers were killed in a shootout outside a home, where they were investigating a sexual assault case, about 3 p.m. The suspected shooter escaped, but was chased and killed in a hail of gunfire unleashed by police officers, some thirty minutes later, on Doyle street. Several law enforcement agencies including SWAT and the FBI, searched the area, but later determined that the shooter acted alone. There was no need for this senseless shooting. I mean, what was going through the mind of the shooter? What did he do that was so bad that he didn’t want to go to jail? I don’t understand. I can only imagine that this morning the last thing these two heroes were thinking is that they would be shot and killed today. I am sure that officers think about it, but, realistically, for the most part, and speaking from experience, law enforcement is about 99 percent boring! Yes, whether you believe or not, this is true. But, it is that other 1 percent that makes an officers pulse race, and his/her adrenaline flow. It is not everyday that an officer might pull out their sidearm out, or to even fire it. But, it does happen. It is nothing like you see on TV shows. Whenever an officer fires their weapon, they spend hours being investigated, retelling the events of the shooting, over and over again, to many people, and spending more hours completing reports in detail. This applies even to accidental discharges. What about those loved ones and friends that these two officers leave behind? Detective Butler leaves behind 2 small boys, ages 2 & 5. Time has passed, and things have changed, but I remember a time years ago, when police officers were treated with respect. Law abiding citizens never thought of harming a police officer. Today, criminals have become more brazen. They have lost respect for those working in law enforcement. All they see is a badge, the don’t see the person behind it. If someone is willing to shoot and kill you, then they don’t value a life, much alone their own. There is a reason they call certain situations a time of “desperation.” While I didn’t know any of these people, the fact that this is the first time ever that the city has lost an officer in the line of duty, tells me something about the city, and the residents of Santa Cruz. Crime is not biased. It happens everyday, and everywhere. These 2 fallen officers are heroes in my eyes. The fact that they were willing to give up their lives for others when they pinned on that badge, says plenty about them. Dedication, bravery, and the ultimate sacrifice: giving your life for others. Now, that is what a true hero is.
I’ve been spending the last two weeks watching video of The Bee Gees, one of my favorite all time groups from the 60’s. I have memories of riding with my parents, and listening to their music on am radio, back around 1967. I didn’t know at the time who they were, but I loved their music. I was 10, when I first heard their songs. Barry, along with twins Robin & Maurice, who were 3 years younger, decided as young boys that they would one day be famous singers, and they made it. They struggled in the early years, faced doubt, lean years, and even broke up several times, and going on their own. But fortunate for their fans, they reunited, and went on to make several number one hits, and sold millions of records. Sadly, Maurice passed away in 2003, and Robin, passed away in 2012. Barry, the oldest and remaining Bee Gee, just started a tour in Melbourne, Australia, this month. He just decided that things are going so well, that he is going to tour the United States next. According to interviews that he gave on YouTube, Barry has said that the music must continue. He has said that it is very difficult for him since there were 3 brothers in the act, (younger brother Andy Gibb joined them on stage for a while, before going onto a solo career), but he also said that his music keeps him busy, and this is his way of keeping the memory of the his brothers alive. Barry still sounds good at 66, and has incredible energy. His son Steven Gibb sings and plays guitar in his band. Allow me to be biased here, but this is without a doubt, the best musical group of guys that I have every heard harmonizing. This voices and talent were just out of this world. I am very fortunate to have attended a concert in 1976 in Los Angeles, and I saw them perform their hits, ” Run to Me, Words, Holiday, and to Love Somebody”, my personal favorite song by the group, just to name a few. They have written songs for numerous other artists, and have won many, many awards, including several Grammys. As song writers, they rank at number 2 of successful song writers, of all time, just after Paul McCartney & John Lennon. They were inducted into the song writers hall of fame a few years ago. Not to shabby if you ask me. While I miss seeing Robin, and Maurice, I am happy to see Barry doing what he loves to do so much. As long as there is video of the brothers, we will always have great memories, and music from the brothers Gibb!
Did you see the footage on the news of the media that landed in Russia? It injured some 400 people, and sent them to the hospital. It also destroy many buildings, and shattered windows, frightening many people. Can you believe this. It would seem that all those movies that came out a few years ago about our earth ending, with meteors striking the earth, proved that this was not just some Hollywood fiction. This can and did actually happen. So are we safe? Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on how scientist can detect these fireballs well before they strike the earth. While scientist have been following the other asteroid that is passing the earth, but will miss us, apparently the one in Russia came in under their radar, and caught many people off guard. So be careful folks, because when you least expect it, day or night, it will probably happen again. We can only hope that it doesn’t hit any building or kill anyone. Living in California all my life, this is similar to earthquakes out here. We get all excited when a big one hits, and it startles you, but then you make sure everyone is okay, and go about your business as usual. So look up to the skies, and watch out for things falling from the sky that may hurt you!
To my faithful readers, I am sorry that I haven’t written in a while. I’ve allowed other things to grab my attention, and I plan to discipline myself to write more. I can’t believe the crazy news events going on in our world. The pope is going to resign, a former L.A. police officer is on a killing spree, earthquakes are happening, and shooting are happening almost daily. Just once, I would love to wake up and watch the news and hear only good stories, but the chances of that happening are very slim. Evil exist in our world. It’s a fact of life. It sounds like former police officer Christopher Dorner was unjustly fired, but he is going about it the wrong way. It is never right to take a human life. My heart goes out to the families of the people he has already killed, and the 40 people that he listed that he is going to kill, and the LAPD are now protecting. He has the upper hand because he knows how the LAPD operates, and is well-trained. I hope that he turns himself in, and won’t kill anymore people. Hopefully, he won’t be killed. All police officers are on high alert, and are doing their best to find him. The police have a tough job as it is without having to worry about one of their own trying to kill them. Two officers were sitting in their patrol car, and Dorner opened fire on them. There is good in the world, but unfortunately, the news media doesn’t dwell on that. People go out of their way to help each other daily, and we don’t hear too much about that. People need to know that someone cares about them. That is why I admire organizations like the Red Cross, Foodshare, the Children’s Miracle Network, and the Salvation Army, just to name a few. They are always ready to jump in when needed and render assistance. After all, isn’t that what we are here for? To help one another in this thing called life. The late Rodney King said it best. Can’t we all just get along? Tomorrow, try to find someone who you can help. Even if it is just helping them across the street, opening a door for them, or just taking the time to sit down and listen to someone talk. Send a card or a letter, or make a brief phone call to a friend, and let them know that you are thinking of them, and wondering how they are doing. You will feel good after doing so, and so will the person that you chose to help. Take care of yourselves.