This season’s opening ceremony, courtesy of FOX 4 New KFDW Dallas/Ft. Worth, is just too good not to share!
This past Thursday night the National Hockey League and Dallas Stars teamed up to honor the memories of the 5 fallen police officers and their families in a heartfelt, tearful pregame tribute. In all the pre-game ceremonies that I witnessed at ice level during in my 30 year NHL Officiating career, nothing comes close to the display of honor and respect demonstrated by the League and Stars organization for the victims, their families, and the entire Fraternal Order of Law Enforcement.
My wife and I watched in horror as events unfolded in Dallas that day, which claimed the lives of five police officers. On that tragic day the fallen officers, along their brethren, were simply doing their duty when called upon to protect the citizens that assembled peacefully to express their 1st Amendment Right. No differently than any of us who set off for work each day, these Officers expected to return home safely to their family once their shift was completed. Their lives were snuffed out so needlessly by an assassin’s bullet.
Tragedies such as this hit close to home for anyone who has a family member in law enforcement, the military, or firefighting. Two of our sons put themselves in harm’s way to serve and protect on a regular basis. Our eldest son Ryan is a Sergeant with NJ Transit Police. Our second oldest son Matthew is a firefighter in London, Ontario, Canada. Both are loving husbands and fathers to two beautiful young children.
While we always fear for our sons’ safety we are extremely proud of not only the work and service they provide, but for the fine men they have become. They, like the overwhelming majority of their brethren, demonstrate not only the necessary courage required for their job, but also compassion for others in the discharge of their duties.
What so many fail to recognize when we see someone in a police uniform, or rushing to a fire (or to a far lesser extent an Official in a striped jersey that draws the wrath of sports fans), is that they are just like you and I. They have families to care for and that care for them. They perform a much needed service to protect us and our property. We should not forget there is good reason we call the 911 number when our house is being burglarized or burning. These brave souls that lay their lives on the line each and every day deserve our respect and appreciation.