fighting the darkness

It's been a draining week for us here in the Mohawk Valley. Last Monday, a local jewelry store was robbed.

Now, around here, the robberies are occassional banks but usually mini-marts where the robbers grab a handful of candy bars on the way out.

But Monday, 3 or 4 armed gunman handcuffed the store employees and got away with 1 million dollars worth of jewelry, including unmounted diamonds (according to the Observer-Dispatch). From the robbery came a car chase, a foot chase, police helocopters, canine patrols, and residents being warned to stay in their houses. We're just not used to that around here.

And that made the death of Officer Joseph Corr that much harder to bear.

Friday, we held a funeral the likes of which has never been seen here. Due to a prior committment, I was unable to attend, though I watched as much as I could on television. Hundreds of police officers from across the North East, including Canadian Mounties marched. Fire departments were also represented by the hundreds. They closed school for the day in New Hartford and set up remote sites for people to watch the funeral on closed circuit TV in the schools. The funeral home and church were about half a mile from each other, yet it took over half an hour for the funeral procession to finish. I was out of town by the time the church service ended, but can't imagine the procession to the cemetary.

Joe Corr is 30 and he leaves behind a wife and 1 year old daughter. He comes from a family of police officers and public service was a virtue in the family. He also served in the volunteer fire department and his wife is a nurse.

Sometimes, it feels like there's a very thin line that keeps Evil away. People like Joe Corr keep that line intact for us, so we can stay in our homes, locked and secure, but while he and his brothers remain outside with what we hide from.

No words of thanks can ever repay what law enforcers give all of us, no word of sorry can ever ease the pain of of Officer Corr's passing, but may his memories comfort those who miss him and may his and the brothers' efforts continue through all those they touch.

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