I’m going to walk into work tomorrow knowing that the thin blue line is even thinner following the attacks in London yesterday. One of my colleagues was stabbed and killed by a terrorist. This is someone I have never met, someone I never would have known, someone I could have walked passed on the street, yet his death is felt by me.
I know the sacrifice he made. I know the nights he worked, the friends and family who worried about him, the members of the public who once upon a time sneered at him and spat at the uniform he wore – yet he did his job all the same. I know the sense of duty he felt when he went into the dark places. I know the courage he felt when he ventured into the unknown. I know the feeling of pride he felt in knowing he protected the public – even those who dismissed his role and responsibilities.
When there was danger he ran towards it, he confronted it. When everyone else ran for their lives he stepped up and was counted amongst heroes. This is something which the police and emergency services do, day in, day out.
But is is more than just something they do. It isn’t just a job, it’s a calling, a brotherhood of men and women, a family. It is not just something they do, no, it is much more than that. It is something they are.
So my thoughts are with this man, and his family, his friends, his colleagues. Those who know him. Those who saw him each day. Those who counted on him as part of their lives and part of their team. My thoughts are with him and others like him who paid the ultimate price in service of their country and community. Spare a thought, today, in the quiet times, for the sacrifice of this ordinary man who died doing something extraordinary.