He noticed it.
He talked about it.
He took pictures of it all the time.
David Glasser, my son, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty last year. He lived in Goodyear so he was on the I-10 driving east often – going to work, to the Cardinal’s games, to ASU games, to Diamondback games, shopping, seeing friends – lots of reasons to get on the freeway going east.
And each time – without fail – Davey would make sure to notice the gigantic American flag at Camping World just south of the freeway. If anyone was in the car with him, he would always make a comment, ” Wow, the wind is just right today. The flag looks great.”, “The flag is looking pretty worn out – they will probably be replacing it soon.” and “Look! A new flag!”. If his kids were in the car, no matter how small they were, he would ask them, “Where’s the big flag?” and they would eagerly point it out, happy to play along in this ritual with Dad.
Davey loved how great the flag looked as it flew over Phoenix – the city he was committed to protect and serve. He was proud of being one of the good guys – a part of what’s right about America. This picture of the flag was found on Davey’s phone after he was killed. He took it 2 days before his death.
After Davey was killed, Camping World somehow found out about his love for their flag. So they presented the huge flag that was flying when Davey died to the Phoenix Police Department and they presented more normal-sized flags to Davey’s wife and kids. Thank you, Camping World! What a great way to honor him!
The huge flag eventually was given to the Phoenix Police Explorers group which is made up of both high school and college students from all over the valley. The group is led by Officers David Barrios, Jaime Brooks and Doug Burrow who give the group weekly police training. The students also give about 3000 hours service to their communities every year. The Explorers took the flag with them on their summer trip last year up to Colorado and created their own ceremony to remember and honor Davey.
Tears stream down my face as I look at this picture of these young men and women standing at the foot of the Rocky Mountains with the flag Davey loved stretched out between them while the National Anthem was sung by one of the students. With young people like these, there is hope for America. They are in the process of becoming the brave people who fight for freedom that our National Anthem speaks of.
I was told that it was especially fitting because the flag was very worn and tattered on the end.
It’s tough on a flag to stand tall through the sun and wind and dust storms in Phoenix.
It was tough for Davey as he stood tall for justice and safety for the people of Phoenix.
And it’s still tough – every day – for our Law Enforcement Officers who stand tall in the thin blue line between the evil and the innocent – protecting our freedom to live safely in our communities.
When we see the American flag flying high over us – where ever we live – let us remember those at home and abroad who have given their lives to serve and protect us. And let us remember those who are still sacrificing and protecting our freedoms each day.
Davey loved the flag and what it stands for.
Let’s follow his example.