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A Part of America Died: An opinion piece from President Caldwell

A PART OF AMERICA DIED
Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, President of Georgia Military College

Reprinted with the permission from the Union Recorder

In the 1980s a police officer working his beat in a small town was killed in the line of duty. Members of his department found, tacked to his bulletin board, an anonymous poem. They were so moved by the poem, they submitted it to the local paper to be included in the story of the officer’s death. The poem began, “Somebody killed a policeman today, and a part of America died.”

As we celebrate National Police Week (May 13-19) and National Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15, we celebrate those individuals who join together to form society’s shield — selflessly guarding order against the ever-creeping chaos which threatens it and our safety against the agents of danger. These men and women of law enforcement are modern day Knights committed to service and driven by their outstanding courage.

Courage — the type possessed by our men and women in blue — is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. Without it, who would volunteer to stare danger in the eye and provide us that precious peace of mind that comes with knowing that someone is standing between our children, our spouses, our loved ones and the harm that could befall them.

Who would stand between us and harm knowing that the ultimate sacrifice is always lurking in the shadows. Knowing they are always one irrational act, one evil deed away from losing everything. We are robbed of so much on the days when that evil wins. We are robbed of all the good an officer had left to do in the world. Children are robbed of mothers and fathers. Men and women are robbed of their spouses. And every member of the human race is robbed of one of our courageous few. 

But their resolve remains iron and their commitment steadfast. They rush in. Knowing all that could be lost, they rush in for us. What a blessing from God that we have these heroes. 

Today and every day, we are tremendously proud of those in our Georgia Military College family who possess that courage and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve.

In 1985, GBI officer and GMC graduate SAC John T. “Sonny” King was killed in the line of duty while serving an arrest warrant. In honor of his service and sacrifice, there is now a Sonny King Endowed Scholarship.

In 1995, Deputy Sheriff William Robinson, IV was shot and killed by a paroled felon while serving as a member of the Baldwin County Sherriff's Office. In honor of his service and sacrifice there is now a Will Robinson Endowed Scholarship.

In 2017, Georgia DOC Sgt. Christopher Monica, the father of a GMC student, was shot and killed while transporting prisoners in Putnam County.

These three members of the GMC family had much left to give. Their families, their friends, and those whose lives they touched are forever torn. These three great men were taken from us, and a part of America died. But their courage, their service, and their sacrifice live on.

This week and always, we remember our fallen heroes, and the service of all who form the shield to protect and serve.