Sadly and deservedly so, Stoneman Douglas High School of Parkland, FL, has been front page news for over a week since an armed gunman took the lives of too many on Valentine’s Day.
As devastating as the story is, in the past few days a new aspect has come to light that completely knocks us to our knees.
For 4 minutes.
While people shouted and cried for help and then, horrifically, died.
I have spoken about the importance of keeping promises extensively in my blog posts, but have we considered the truly life-threatening, game-changing, momentum shifting aspect that is BREAKING OUR PROMISES?
We can all sit here, Monday Morning Quarterbacks, telling others how we would have or should have or they could have done it.
I don’t know what that deputy/police officer was going through to not engage a shooter.
Perhaps he thought he was helping as he gave coordinates to the police squad that were arriving to engage the shooter?
But then more deputies arrived and didn’t go inside….?
We can speculate all we want, but what I do know is this: A Police Officer, Sheriff’s Deputy, and anyone in law enforcement makes a PROMISE to protect and serve, especially those who can’t defend themselves.
When that promise is broken on a scale like this, with 17 children, teachers, coaches, friends, dying trying to protect one another, we collectively sob to think someone could hurt so many innocent people, but it’s even tougher to conceive in our minds that an officer of the law would not keep his promise.
What are the promises we are breaking? It is a moral issue. It comes down to character.
If you hear shooting, I don’t expect you to run toward it, but if you have taken an oath to do so, then that is a promise I expect you’ll keep.
My prayers go out to those who lost loved ones, I can’t even imagine what they are experiencing, and yet equally my words go out to all of humanity to plead that we promise ourselves we will be the ones who keep promises when we make them.
To ourselves, to our loved ones, to those we have taken an oath to protect.