Much to ponder on Memorial Day

Another Memorial Day weekend approaches, and perhaps this year, we really will take time to think about the men and women who have sacrificed for our nation.

We speak, of course, of those who have served, or serve, in the armed forces, with emphasis upon those who have given their lives. But there is much more to think about as we plan our weekend that will include family, friends, neighbors and, we hope, a few minutes of contemplation. And not just for the dead, but for the men and women wounded and crippled by war. They, too, have sacrificed.

We also speak, though, of the men and women who serve us as police officers. The officers who have fallen, the officers who have been injured on the job, the officers who serve today, have no "day" to memorialize them. But we should think of them, remember them this weekend as we go about our fun.

Police officers are taking a great deal of criticism, much of it deserved, but little of it a reflection upon the men and women who we know as our local officers. They are, by and large, good people who like their jobs, who like the people they serve and who perform their jobs in a way that does them, and us, proud.

There are bad apples in departments across the country, men (for the most part, they are men) too eager to use their weapons, but when you think about the number of men and women who put on police uniforms every day of the week, those bad apples are an incredibly small percentage.

And around here, in our towns, those who protect and serve really do protect and serve. They are not only police officers, they are our neighbors, often our friends, people we see in the supermarket, in the gym, one who even trains us in spinning classes at Hampshire Hills. They’re people like us, but people who, every day, put their lives on the line.

Oh, it’s easy for us to say, well, how dangerous can it be? It depends on the day, really. Sure, it’s probably more dangerous in Manchester, where two officers were shot recently, but the person who shot them could just as easily have been in Milford or Nashua … any place, really. Time and place can change everything.

So this weekend, and especially Monday, as we remember the men and women of our armed forces – and please think of those still serving and those wounded and still suffering – let’s take a minute to remember our police officers, the fallen (and there are many even in this small state) and those still doing their jobs.