I am humbled and honored to be here today and I want to thank you all for coming out on this beautiful afternoon to be here also.
Today is a day that we gather together to rise above.
To rise above the anti-police rhetoric of the media that for the past several years has produced misinformation and untruths regarding controversial encounters between law enforcement and members of the community.
Instead of promoting the good deeds done by the over 800,000 law enforcement officers nationwide, they partner to spin negative stories on their 24-hour news cycles for ratings and to incite those who have an anti-police agenda.
Today we rise above the police hate groups who, instead of trying to find ways to bring together communities and their police, their agenda is to widen the gap between that relationship with disruptive protests that destroy property, disrupt mass transit, and stop citizens’ ability to move freely as they work, recreate and travel.
Today we rise above riots that disrupt peaceful protests endangering citizens and law enforcement with the throwing of rocks, bottles, lit flares, and, in some cases, Molotov cocktails.
Today we are here to pay tribute to those who were the noblest of the noble and most honorable of those in one of the most honorable professions. Men and women of all races, creeds, colors, religions, and sexual orientations who gave their lives to protect and serve the evolving needs of their diverse communities nationwide. They were husbands and wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. They left the safe confines of their homes and families every day so that they could be there for those in need, whatever the circumstances. And they gave their lives so that others could enjoy the freedoms that this great nation has to offer.
These brave and selfless heroes upheld an oath they took the first day they wore the badge and they set a standard as role models for all those who come after them.
To their families we say thank you for sharing your loved ones with a grateful nation. The essence of these heroes’ souls is an eternal light for all to follow. You were there during their happiest days and through their darkest hours and, although your loss is great, the light your loved ones brought into this honorable and noble profession will rise above and will shine eternally.
Daryl Turner, President
Portland Police Association