Communion Of Dreams


My dad was a cop, killed on the job.
April 5, 2009, 9:53 am
Filed under: Violence

Got an email from a close friend last night:

Heard about the officers in Pittsburgh – how are you doing?

Because she knows my history: almost 40 years ago, my dad was killed on the job investigating a robbery. His name was Wil Downey, and it happened in University City (St. Louis area) on December 12, 1969. I was 11.

I tried avoiding writing about this. When these things happen, as they do with a disturbing frequency, I usually just like to withdraw a bit, reflect, try to find my equilibrium. It is always surprising just how much it hurts, even now.

But for whatever reason – whether due to the death of four officers in Oakland two weeks ago, or because we’re coming up on the annual prayer service for fallen officers in the St. Louis area (which I know about but never attend), or because of other recent discussions in which I have been engaged on dKos – for whatever reason, I find that just turning away isn’t working this time.

So, I write. Even though I have very little to say, really. Just to point out that when you read about the death of a cop, chances are they were someone’s child, or sibling, or parent. This is always true, of course, with any death – whether it was a death by violence, or accident, or illness. We are all linked together in ways we rarely appreciate. The officers killed yesterday were not just fodder for your arguments about guns or what the right-wing crazies said. They were real people, and had real families. Sometimes we forget that.

Jim Downey

(Posted on Daily Kos. Thought I would also post it here.)


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A brief addendum – this got a lot of attention at Daily Kos, far more than anything else I have ever written or posted there. While the stats for this blog today were the worst they have been in many months, meaning that very few people saw it here.

Curious.

Jim D.

Comment by James Downey

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