Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Ultimate Sacrafice

As we got closer to Vacaville the freeway began to thicken with flashing lights.  In our rear view mirror, there was a rope of blue and red stretching beyond our view.  Even in the civilian cars beside us we saw badges, patches, suits, dresses.  We all exited the freeway and the emotions began to rise.

The actual road became the parking lot.  Patrol vehicles lined three cars deep stretched at least an entire block. I tried to read the names of the departments as I deciphered the curved lettering on the rear of the black, blue, and white vehicles we passed.   Hundreds of  motorcycles reflected the sun on the opposite curb and literally drew a gasp from my mouth. Stunning.

When we approached the church, the sight became even more breathtaking.  There were badges from all over the country dressed in their Class As with the every button, snap, badge, and boot carefully and thoughtfully polished. Nevada, Washington, New York were a few that I noticed.  Every bay area city and agencies that stretched the entire state stood in the courtyard.  The emotion was moving. The feeling was somber.

Over 4000 people took their seats.  The casket was draped in an American flag and the bagpipes played as we stood while the hero, Officer Kenyon Youngstrom, was brought to the front of the church. I had been anticipating the bagpipes and the anguish that their sound would stir.

The memorial was beautiful. I have a new, deep respect for the CHP.  I commented to the CHP wives I knew that they should be very proud to be part of something so wonderful. It was clear that Officer Youngstrom's family had been very cared for and embraced by the CHP during the week that had passed since his End of Watch.  I am certain they will continue to find that support there.

May God bless each officer this day.  Keep them safe.  Keep there minds clear and their judgment sound.

To Karen Youngstrom and all four children, so many tears my family and I have shed for you whom we have never met.  Your support system stretches throughout the cities and across this state, even across the country.  You will continue to be remembered in our prayers in hopes of peace being brought to your hearts.