Speech Given On May 14, 1999
at the Lake County (IL)
Police Memorial Day

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who organized this police
memorial day, especially the F.O.P. What a great organization. . .

Police Memorial Day was signed into law by President Kennedy back in 1963.
For about 20 years, it was a small ceremony in Washington. In the early 80s,
there was a group of about a dozen police widows there. After the ceremony,

they were discussing the need for an organization to help survivors.

So the F.O.P. and the F.O.P. auxiliary secured a grant from the Justice
Department and founded our national survivors group. Back when I first went
to Washington in 1985, we had about 150 survivors there. Now we have
thousands of members and programs for them all over the country.

So all of you F.O.P. members out there, I thank you and I salute you.

When I was working on my speech, I went to the Internet to the website for
the national police memorial. I have the web site on the back of this
(holding up folder with my husband's photo and
MY Hero poem). So if you
can't make it to Washington, you can take a virtual tour. . .

I downloaded some press releases off of this memorial site to get some ideas,
but I decided to talk about other things today. One of my friends said
memorial day is for remembering our loved ones who died and reflecting on our
own lives.

After my husband died, there were so many noble things said about him, I
almost thought they were talking about somebody else. . . Not that he
didn't deserve it, but because he was a humble guy with a great sense of
humor. We laughed a lot. And its just as important to laugh as it is to cry.

One day we laughed so hard was the first time he put on his uniform. That
was July 4, 1975. I want everybody here to think about that day, the first
time you put on your uniform. Wasn't that the greatest day of your life??
Didn't you feel like Superman? Like you were going to change the world?

Everybody wanted to do big things--- make big busts, do big investigations,
handle big emergencies. But pretty soon you realized that most of police
work is little things. One of the priests at our church calls them small
moments of grace. . .

Who can forget a couple of weeks ago, during the tornado in Oklahoma when the
deputy picked the baby out of the rubble?? I was so glad it was on TV.

Maybe now that some of you are at the end of your careers and you are
thinking you wish you had made more felony arrests, more of of those big
things. Maybe you are thinking you didn't change the world. . . But you DID
change the world for all the people whose lives you touched.

My memorial wish for all of you is to remember the life of Bob Reimann and
live your own life in a positive way.

And my other wish for all of you is to have peace in your heart and take that
peace with you when you go out on the road.

Because a healing heart can change the world.

Cheryl Reimann

Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1983-1999 - All Rights Reserved

and may not be duplicated without permission

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