Tuesday, July 15, 2014

To Serve & To Protect. To Love & To Mourn.

So Nigh is Grandeur
To our Dust,
So Near to God is Man,
When Duty whispers low,
"Thou must",
the Youth replies, "I can."
- Emerson

Melvin Santiago, twenty-three years young and a rookie member of his hometown Jersey City Police Department, was murdered in the line of duty in the wee small hours of Sunday morning.  Officer Santiago and his partner had responded to a call of a robbery in progress at the Walgreen's Pharmacy at the Corner of JFK Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue.  As their marked patrol vehicle entered the parking lot and Officer Santiago opened the front passenger's door in order to exit it, he was shot and killed by a perpetrator who had been awaiting the officers' arrival so that he could ambush them.

The coward who murdered Officer Santiago in cold blood - and who was subsequently put down like the piece of human deritus that he was by other members of the JCPD - apparently told a customer inside of the Walgreen's only minutes earlier that the customer should be certain to watch the TV news because he - the aforementioned coward - was going to do something to make himself famous.  Not in this space.  If you want to know his name, then there are plenty of places where you can read it.  Here shall not be one of them.   

Melvin Santiago graduated from the Police Academy less than eight months ago - in December 2013.  He was a Jersey City kid, having been born and raised there and having spent the last fifteen years of his life living on Stegman Parkway.  Twenty-three years young, he is survived by his mother, his stepfather and a thirteen-year-old brother. 

It is the fear of every parent to outlive our child.  There may well be no greater disturbance to the natural order of the Universe.  It is a fear that one lives with every day - irrespective of what your child or children do to earn a living - but that seems more pronounced when one's child does what Melvin Santiago did.

Without Heroes we are all plain People
And don't know how Far we can Go.
-Bernard Malamud

May we always be able to count among our number those like Melvin Santiago, whose service serves to inspire us to go just one step further and to do just one thing more.


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