Monday, May 18, 2015

The 14th Annual NYPD Memorial 5K Run

Yesterday was the first time I attended the NYPD Memorial 5K Run in NYC. This race is run in honor of all NYPD Officers who have died in the line of duty, and although my husband went for his first time last year, I felt compelled to attend yesterday.
It was a truly moving event, and more than once, I swallowed a great big lump in my throat in order to keep moving myself.
Upon arrival, we checked in and were asked if we wanted a tag to represent the NYPD Hero that we were running in memory of...I chose Ramos and Liu, the two NYPD Officers that were assassinated this past December.
It struck me as sad that I had names, embedded in my head, able to roll right off the top of my tongue...names from recent history...more than one name to choose from.
My husband took the opposite tack and I loved it; he chose an Officer whose watch ended on October 3, 1938. He ran in the memory of someone who no one today would remember, but should still never be forgotten.
What was funny about the actual race was that even though I had written in the names of Officers Ramos and Liu, I was thinking a lot about Brian Moore, who was murdered more recently, and in fact, I was thinking about what the Priest said during the homily given at his funeral.
I'm paraphrasing here, but the Priest was talking about a conversation he had with a friend, about running a marathon. The Priest intimated that it must be really fun, and exciting to see all the people that come out to view the NYC Marathon. The friend said it was actually quite lonely...out there running all by himself...that even though you're in a pack of people, you really run your own race. The friend went on to say that at this past year's Marathon he felt as if he had caught a glimpse of Heaven: when he finished his race, he saw all the family members, waiting at the Finish, cheering you on, excitedly awaiting your arrival, as they stood there with open arms, threw a blanket over your shoulders, and ushered you in for a hug.
There's a great metaphor there.
My husband, his partner, a friend who is a Federal Agent, as well as a few other friends ran out in front of me. I did a majority of the race alone. I was almost at three miles when I noticed two women in the distinctive "bobby" hats of the London Police come right up alongside me. I kept pace with them and came to find out that the London Police Running Club had joined us for the past ten years in honoring our fallen Members.
I must say that I have been to Great Britain several times and love the people as well as the culture. While I was talking to the two female Officers, they asked me if I had lived in New York my entire life. I told them yes.
"Oh, so then that's a real New York accent?" they asked with polite curiosity.
I laughed out loud.
Then I said, "That's so funny! I forget that you're not the only ones who have an accent in this conversation!"
What a joy to meet Officers from across the Pond, who came to support the NYPD at one of its most harrowing times.
I say this not because I relish being a drama queen (let's face it, I am an actress) but because I truly believe that the morale in the NYPD has hit a major all-time low.
I did not see the mayor at the start or the finish of the race.
What I see is a bumbling man, mumbling into microphones when his presence is called upon, and not much else.
What I would like to see is this Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Individual do a ride along in one of The City's worst neighborhoods: tired, scared, hungry---perhaps cold and wet---and either way, without his security detail.
But I digress.
The race was full of fun and camaraderie as Police Agencies from all over showed up to run, walk, and fellowship with the Finest.
It was a day of remembrance, and I was so glad I went.
It's a day I won't soon forget.

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