Deepest Condolences to the Family of Sgt. Ryan Russell.   And the deepest sympathies to his widow Christine.   My heart goes out to her, and what the days ahead will hold for her and their young son, Nolan.  I am so glad that his funeral was attended by so many.   That not only his fellow officers and emergency personnel, but also the public lining the streets and watching the funeral march from their office windows.   Especially after some comments I read in the web editorials covering the story.

As the wife of a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO), I am sickened by comments regarding who will pay for this big "spectacle", or questions demanding to know why a dead police officer is treated with more honor than say a construction worker who dies on the job.   Villians at the G20, but now heroes?  Well, let's tackle the first question.   The respective police association organizes AND PAYS for the officer's funeral.  (and I would imagine also some from the family/estate.) So don't worry...your tax dollars are safe.  What cost the officer and his/her family everything.....costs you nothing.  And why such pomp and circumstance you ask?  Because his/her fellow officers Choose to honor them in such a manner.  This is the "brotherhood" of the Thin Blue Line.  For those of us living this life...whether we wear a badge, or whether someone we love wears it.....this is our Family.   Why wouldn't we honor them in such a manner.    So, if a construction worker in Toronto dies tragically on the job, and other construction workers from across the country, and even from the USA want to come and march the streets with the haunting sounds of jackhammers playing.... you are welcome to do so.  But you don't.  Because while tragic certainly.....it isn't the same.

Why isn't it the same?  Afterall, no one should come to work expecting to die.  But wait a minute.  A police officer does.   Every car pulled over.  every house where a domestic is raging.  every robbery in progress.  They show up at their work full knowing they may die.   And believe me....it ain't for the money.  My husband leaves our family ---- to go protect yours.  He misses holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, summer BBQ's,  swimming lessons, Friday date nights, to make sure  YOU and YOURS can enjoy your lives without the threat of harm.   And while you are encountering my husband in the course of his duties.....you are probably wishing he was dead - or at the very least would go away.  while I sit at home and pray that he returns.   Can't really picture a construction workers' wife sitting at 2am doing the same.  That is the difference.

We can all go at any time. true.  time and chance happens to us all.  But most of use make sure NOT to put ourselves in harms' way.   But my LEO does it everyday.  willing.  Mine would put himself into a bullet's path to save YOUR child... would yours' do the same for his?  Maybe.  Calling a police officer a hero does not mean that Noone else could also be a hero.   I am sure there are lots of them out there....some that we may never even notice.  But I believe the job to be a special calling. (and please don't argue with me about the corrupt ones....there are corrupt workers in every single occupation.  people tend to be like that.) Otherwise, all these people who like to comment and criticize would be signing up.  because obviously they know better. well, in my opinion, if you understood....even a little....you'd pick up a weapon and stand a post.  but you don't.   No one can possible understand but those of us who live it.   I believe Left Brain (tend to be in law enforcement, ironic eh?) was serving a warrant today related to some internet crime.   Know what that means?  I do.  dirty pictures and videos......involving kids.  What did your spouse do today?   what images will be left in his/her head that can't be discussed at the dinner table.  or never.   Personally, I think he's a hero because he didn't just shoot the prick between the eyes and walk away.   nope, he did his duty and followed his orders.  followed the law.   And that is why he carries the gun in the family.

Christine, you are living my worse nightmare.  It's a terrible feeling to know that mine just called to say he was on his way home.....and that your Ryan never will again.   It's awful to feel glad that mine has arrived home safe and sound to hug his 3 children......and you have to explain to Nolan why he never can hug his daddy again.  How do you explain that to a child?  That it's not just good guys and bad guys like they watch on Super Hero Squad.....that the war is real.   Daddy could really die.   I don't know.  I pray I won't have too.

I don't understand this hatred towards my husband because of his job.  The sudden "oh" that comes when I answer the question "what does your husband do"?  Like people are afraid suddenly to be around us.  like I am going to snitch to Left Brain about their stolen satellite, or doobie they enjoy after the kids go to bed.   Please, he deals with far greater things than that.  perhaps you were unfortunate to encounter one who does not honor the badge.  sorry for that.  but I've had bad teachers, doctors, pastors, you name it.... I don't curse the profession because of one bad apple.  And despite your hatred towards him, when you dial 911....and believe me....one day you will have to.  he will come and do his duty and he won't complain or look for thanks.  mainly because he's probably already on the move to the next emergency.  while we at home wait.

For inquiring minds:  the standard representation/meaning of the term "the thin blue line"  refers to the small amount of police officers (dressed in blue) that stands between the criminal element and the law abiding citizens. (see wiki.)