Friday, January 21, 2011

A Ray of Light

Yesterday was a flat-out brutal day for law enforcement families all around these United States.

The morning included a shootout in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami that left two Miami-Dade police officers dead. Officer Roger Castillo died at the scene from a gunshot wound. According to a published report I read, Officer Castillo was a twenty-one year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department. He was the father of three. Officer Amanda Haworth died while in surgery after having suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Officer Haworth was a twenty-three year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department. She was a single mom. Her son is thirteen years old.

As horrific as yesterday was for the families of those slain officers, here at home yesterday brought thousands of mourners to Lakewood New Jersey to honor a fallen hero and to become acquainted with another. Lakewood Police Officer Christopher Matlosz was buried yesterday, six days following his murder while in the line of duty. People knew who the hero was they were coming to honor yesterday at the time they arrived for the service. During the funeral mass, however, they were introduced to one of whom they may not have been aware.

Kelly Walsfier and Christopher Matlosz were engaged to be married. Yesterday, she eulogized the young man with whom she had hoped to one day exchange wedding vows. And she did so with grace and courage that belied both her youth and the overwhelming circumstances that now confront her. An extraordinary young woman.

And a welcome source of hope on a day on which it was in tragically short supply.

-AK

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