Ribbons on Our Streets

These ribbons are tied all along the procession route
These ribbons are tied all along the procession route

This last Thursday was the funeral for Gregg “Nigel” Benner, the first police officer in the history of our young city to be killed in the line of duty. It was a terrible tragedy. Officer Benner lost his life on Memorial Day, a dreadful irony; and our city is so young that everything seemed to work together in smooth humdrum bureaucracy, and has now grown up, as our pastor said.

A flag adorns a cherry picker along the procession route
A flag adorns a cherry picker along the procession route

The community in our young, humdrum city has come together in our shock. They say we’re tight-knit. It’s funny that a city this size can be tight-knit!

Here is the memorial, that grew quickly to overflowing.
Here is the memorial, that grew quickly to overflowing.

There was a procession after the funeral, with everyone encouraged to line the streets and “Stand up for Officer Benner.” Apparently the turnout was pretty large – which it seemed to be from where I was standing!

The motorcycle cops at the head of the procession
The motorcycle cops at the head of the procession

Procession Stand The Procession

We even got to help out a little, my sister-collaborators and I! The reception for the family and the law enforcement officer in attendance (in their fine dress uniforms) was held at our church, and we volunteered to help serve. I love the background perspective, so here are a few behind-the-scenes views:

From inside the kitchen. The food on the left was generously donated by Olive Garden
From inside the kitchen. The food on the left was generously donated by Olive Garden
Hannah, in charge of coffee, near the iced tea, which received rave reviews (it was a hot day!)
Hannah, in charge of coffee, near the iced tea, which received rave reviews (it was a hot day!)
The buffet tables, prepared and waiting. We got pizza before everyone else arrived, donated by Sal-E-Boys and Dion's (two excellent local pizza chains). There was also Chick-fil-A, but that came later.
The buffet tables, prepared and waiting. We got pizza before everyone else arrived, donated by Sal-E-Boys and Dion’s (two excellent local pizza chains). There was also Chick-fil-A, but that came later.
The sanctuary, turned into a dining hall.
The sanctuary, turned into a dining hall.
The diners, served by high school football team members.
The diners, served by high school football team members.

It was wonderful to come and serve, even though I didn’t feel like I did that much. We have an excellent police force in our city. It was good to acknowledge that, and to do something in memory and honor of Officer Benner.

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2 thoughts on “Ribbons on Our Streets

  1. Reblogged this on Felicity Prose and commented:
    I don’t actually know what the rest of the world- or at least the USA- is saying or thinks about the recent tragedy of Gregg “Nigel” Benner’s death. I live in the city where it happened- within a couple miles of it- so the perspective is different, not to mention the fact that it’s quite possible I may have seen or met this police officer. He certainly sounds like the sort of person you wish you did know.
    As I was saying, I don’t know what the rest of the world is seeing, but I’m pretty sure you’ve seen a lot about Benner and this whole tragedy. Well, inevitably it will fade, and a tiny bit of you will be glad. It’s not that you don’t care, it’s just that it’s painful and other things come up.
    Well, I ask that you continue praying for the family and friends, as well as his fellow police officers. And, go ahead and write down his name in your calendar in some later month, and maybe at the end of the year and well into the next, because this man is in the forefront of many peoples hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

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