Answering the Call
Detours in Life
I am not sure what they had originally planned for yesterday, Saturday, August 12th. Maybe spending family time or simply doing chores at home. One was a veteran law enforcement officer with more than two decades as a Virginia state trooper. The other was a pilot who transferred to the state police aviation unit last month and was one day away from his 41st birthday.
Both Virginia State Police troopers died Saturday when their police helicopter crashed and burned in Charlottesville, as they patrolled near the site of clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters. State police identified the victims as pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40. Both men died at the scene.
Their helicopter was “assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation in Charlottesville,” according to a police statement. The aircraft crashed in a wooded area near a residence just before 5 p.m. No one on the ground was injured, and officials are still investigating the cause of the crash.
Others had decided to spend their Saturday upholding the ideals of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. A young paralegal from Green County, Virginia, Heather Heyer had decided to peacefully protest the white supremacists holding the rally. She was run over twice by a car driven by a twenty-year-old man, James Alex Fields, from Ohio. Nineteen others were injured and taken to area hospitals.
All of these people suffered a detour yesterday. Three made a detour from the living to death while another made a terribly misguided choice that resulted in injury and death. Sometimes these things happen – death and injury. Hopefully, when they do, it is for a good cause. Yesterday it was not for a good cause. Hatred is never a good excuse for death.
We should strive to detour away from hatred and yet, many see, to thrive on it. We need to realize that we alone are responsible for many of the detours in our lives. When we answer the call to be kind and just, supporting equality and goodness, then we can detour away from hate and create a positive, effective world.
I have mentioned the names of these casualties because we need to remember they were people. It really does not matter what “side” they were on or if you agree with them. When one person dies, the fabric of humanity is weakened. Each life matters. Each death is a tragedy. Tomorrow should be promised for us all.