Unforgettable memories from Washington Police Week

Posted on August 16, 2014 | Category :Uncategorized | Comments Off

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AS WE stepped off the plane in Washington DC for Police Week, a guard of honour was lined up to greet us, writes survivor Sue Pyke (pictured front left).

It was the first time I had ever been to Washington DC and it was a trip that had filled me with excitement and nerves. I was travelling with my partner Russell and other family members of police officers who had been lost in the line of duty. We were there to honour the memory of my daughter PC Stacey Pyke.

It was an experience I will remember forever and I was filled with pride as I was greeted by a police officer.

We had only just arrived but already the trip had been full of emotion. We were meeting many survivors for the first time and on the plane we exchanged stories about our loved ones and our involvement with COPS.

It was strange to talk openly about my daughter and my grief with someone I had only just met but it was wonderful to have someone listen who understood the pain. Friendships were formed very quickly and there was much laughter as well as tears.

From the airport we were escorted under blue lights to the hotel – our driver informed us that we were being given dignitary status.

The week was filled with amazing trips – we were given privileged escorted tours around some of the most famous landmarks in Washington, including the Capitol Hill Building, the President’s Yacht, The FBI Academy and Arlington Cemetery.

An incredible moment for me was being presented with a certificated ceremonial flag that had been flown in my child’s honour over Capitol Hill.

As I was standing in the queue for the memorial shop, a girl who was around 6 years old, turned to me, opened her arms wide and said “I’m a warm hug do you want one?” It brought tears to my eyes. It also captured the spirit of the people by whom I was surrounded.

But nothing prepared me for the emotion I felt at the candlelight vigil. We were joined by American COPS Survivors and I was buoyed by their support for our cause. I watched as the light travelled across a sea of people as far as the eye could see and then lit up the sight of the officers’ pictures on the memorial wall.

We went on to New York after that and visited the newly-opened 9/11 memorial museum. It was a true reminder of what it is like to be a survivor when I stood next to a lady holding a child and heard her say “Look up there honey; thats’s daddy”. She was pointing to a picture of a police officer.

It was a very special week and one I will remember forever.

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