Exasperated is the only word that can describe how I felt as Long Island buried yet another of her heroes, New York City Police Officer Brian Moore.
He was the fifth NYPD officer shot in as many months and the third to be killed since December.
The day of the shooting my wife and I were glued to the late-night news as his family, fellow officers, and friends kept vigil at his bedside at Jamaica Hospital.
I was horrified as they described the bullet entering his face and going through his brain and I can still hear my wife saying, “He’s just a baby. Look at his face. He’s somebody’s baby.”
Yep. He was somebody’s baby. And now that mother and father bury a son who did nothing more than serve his neighbors in what apparently was a most excellent and noble way.
Most of us get it. We understand precisely why this hurts as bad as it does. The men and women in blue are undoubtedly the good guys.
So when you attack them, you attack us, our city, our communities, even our society.
And yes, we all know about an internet that is crazed with the videotaping of a few abusive officers. To be sure evil does exist. And it must be rooted out.
But I remind you my friends that in the tens of millions of police interactions with citizens each and every year, our police are doing most of the rooting out, and the protecting, and the serving and the saving.
They are still the good guys.
Ironically, Officer Moore grew up on the same Massapequa street as another good guy, NYPD Officer Eddie Byrne who was assassinated 27 years ago.
You may recall that Officer Byrne was shot execution style in his vehicle by four drug dealers just three miles away from this latest incident on a South Jamaica street.
And like me, maybe you remember the exact same cries of mourning and outrage that swept over the city.
But alas, when the sensational headlines disappear and life goes back to normal, society always seems to forget.
How else do we explain that as recently as last October, Officer Byrne’s brother was actually fighting to prevent those same executioners from receiving parole! (You heard right: possible parole for convicted cop killers.)
It shouldn’t take more heartbreaking reminders to ensure that Brian Moore, or Eddie Byrnes, or Wenjian Liu, or Rafael Ramos, or those who ran toward the Twin Towers instead of away from them are not forgotten.
And maybe the pundits on the 24-hour, three ring circus they call news who love to give every unqualified, talking head a soap box from which to squawk — maybe they need to slow down and listen.
Maybe try to act and report responsibly instead of drumming up resentment and fostering hate just because it boosts their ratings and the almighty advertising dollar.
So, please say a prayer for the good guys — that they stay good and stay safe. And say a prayer for the Moore Family; that they know the boy they raised made a real difference in what can often be a crummy world.
Please visit www.nycpba.org/moore.pdf to learn how you can help Officer Moore’s family.