Notes on the Grandeur of a Police Officer’s Funeral

Thousands show up for a slain police officer’s funeral and people inconvenienced in the traffic jam ask why.

Fellow officers travel the expanses of America to take their places in line and show support for the family and friends of someone they never knew. Hundreds of light bars flash and a sinuous line of cop cars begins an unearthly procession to a profoundly sad place. Why is this when other funerals happen elsewhere in more private and quiet settings?

The answer can be found in a quote from Sir William Temple. “Valor gives awe, and promises protection to those who (lack) heart or strength to protect themselves.” Chris Wilson, like his colleagues in police departments throughout the country, had a heart of valor.

The obvious adulation surrounding Officer Wilson on the occasion of his death isn’t solely because he was an honorable and valiant man, it’s because he represented all the honorable men and women who share his chosen calling. Just as he represented them in life, he represents them in death and his funeral is a reminder that there’s sometimes a high price to pay for the privilege of protecting others.


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