This small piece of elastic cloth is the heaviest thing I have ever lifted.
Sometimes if feels as though it carries with it the weight of the world.
Although it is small, it contains the fear of many. It carries with it the heartache that another brother or sister is no longer with us.
As you place it over your star or badge or shield, you carry with it the heartache of a family that is now missing a husband or wife, a brother or sister, an aunt or uncle.
You are now carrying with you the broken heart of a young child that will never get to play ball or dress up with their hero parent.
You carry the thoughts and prayers and sadness of an entire community that is feeling terrified that their community has lost a protector and defender.
You are carrying with you the deep seeded fear that the next time someone places their mourning band on their star, badge or shield that they might be placing it to remember you.
However heavy it is, you carry on. You go out day after day or night after night because of your love.
You move forward because your dedication to duty and your devotion to service.
One call at a time you carry the thought and prayers and heartache because to not it would be a disservice to the memory of who you wear it for.
You saddle up and and say "I love you" to your significant other not knowing what the shift may hold. When they say be safe, you reply with "Always."
You don't press forward for the money, but for the greater sense of good. Knowing there is innocence that needs protected from the evil in this world.
To some it's a piece of cloth, to me the Mourning band, is the heaviest thing in the world.
UPDATE: WHILE THIS POEM IS BEING SHARED AS UNKNOWN AUTHOR WE HAVE BEEN CONTACTED BY THE
AUTHOR. Dave Heptinstall WROTE THIS ARTICLE IN JULY 17,2016 AFTER THE DEATH OF THREE BATON ROUGE LA OFFICERS