There was not any traffic on the Interstate-5 Freeway as I drove to work this Thanksgiving morning at 5:30 a.m., an odd rarity for a freeway running through Orange County, CA. As I approached my exit in Anaheim, I saw the familiarity of heavy traffic as cars exited towards Disneyland. Families would be spending time together at “The Happiest Place on Earth” this holiday.
Then I began thinking of all the families that would be enjoying this holiday together eating turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy and pumpkin pie, sitting around their televisions watching football. Most of them have no idea that some of us do not get to enjoy that tasty meal with our families today. We do not get to go to Disneyland; we do not even get to watch football. Instead, some of us have to go to work because we chose a profession in public safety and there are no days off in this field.
It is funny to me that crime does not ever stop, not even on a day like Thanksgiving. You would think that even the “criminals” would take a day off to spend time with their families. I guess not. After only one hour of work, there were already ten calls for service holding for police response in the city where I work. Usually, I would say that would be rather normal, but today on Thanksgiving that just seems busier than it should be. Most of us just shrug our shoulders and say, “that’s job security”.
In a way, I am spending time with my family today: the coworkers whom I hold so dear who work hard with me to help keep our city safe… my family in blue, dysfunctional at times admittedly, but happy together nonetheless. So here is to all the peace officers, dispatchers, and other professional civilian staff working this Thanksgiving Day. May God bless you all beyond deserving for sacrificing days like this and choosing a life of service.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.