On Friday morning’s commute I ran into the police memorial procession for Officer Brenton. The Burke Gilman trail was clogged w/ pedestrians paying their respects.The road was blocked with police, fire and aid units passing slowly by, rolling through intersections in one long continuous filament. It reminded me a lot of (somber) critical mass rides.
These guys are rolling through town paying respect to their fallen colleagues. They’re raising awareness of their role and the risks they bear as first responders, aid providers and law enforcement. They’ve probably saved my life more times than I can count (indirectly at least). If I ever get nailed on my bike it’s these guys who are coming to scrape me off the pavement and take me to the hospital. I’ve got mad respect for them. I don’t really understand how you could ride in the city and not.
The procession was an inconvenience for sure. I could have gotten where I was going faster if it hadn’t been going on. I think that’s kind of the point. Slow down, look around, recognize those around you. It’s a great reminder.
Me? I stopped by bike and stood on the trail watching the mass roll by and thinking about how much I owe these folks. I stopped and told an officer thanks you, and asked them to pass it along. I meant it sincerely, and I still do: Thank you police, thank you fire fighters, thank you aid. Like my doctor, I hope I don’t need to see you very often but I’m glad you’re around.