The Memorial Day observances begin early this month. Our nation has designated this week as a time to remember the men and women of our police forces. Today was Police Officer Memorial Day in Fort Smith.
I was honored to be a part of a small but meaningful service at the Fort Smith Police Department today. There have been nine men who died in the line of duty during the history of the FSPD. For the record they are . . .
E. A. "Gus" Anthony, Andy Carr, Samuel Booth, William Bourland, Ralph Howard, Thomas Hairston, Randy Basnett, Ray Tate, and Billy Simms.
I first learned of these men when I was teaching an Ethics in-service for the FSPD. They have a display case in the front lobby that memorializes these officers. Nine souls may not seem like too many in the long history of Fort Smith. The dates of their deaths range from the early 1900's to 1986. Nevertheless, each of them is a man with family and friends. Jesus said that there is no greater love that to lay down one's life for one's friends.
Those officers that I know who are a part of the Fort Smith PD today I consider friends. May God bless them and protect them as they risk their lives out of love and duty.