Today marks the 1-year anniversary of a horrific event in my little town. It was a Sunday morning…a beautiful Summer day was on the horizon. It was quiet. It was peaceful.
Until it wasn’t.
It was all a blur really. I remember seeing police cars, hearing sirens…I remember a feeling in my stomach that something very bad was happening. And indeed the fabric of our community was changed forever, that July morning.
A local police officer was murdered. One of our own. One of ours. Officer Michael Chesna, a husband, father of two, a son, brother, friend and brother in blue. Gone. Murdered.
An innocent victim was also struck down and killed inside her own home. A beautiful soul, gone. Vera Adams. Murdered.
Two lives taken in the blink of an eye.
Within 24 hours, there were tributes, prayer gatherings, fundraisers booked…every telephone poll – every telephone poll across the entire town was wrapped in blue & black ribbon. It was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking.
Images of sorrow filled the local newspaper. Neighbors cried together. Residents pulled together with the strength and resolve that small towns seem to muster in times like these.
Blue light bulbs replaced the soft glow white, across town – on every front porch, in every lamp post.
The color blue became synonymous with police, pride and prayer. The color blue became a tribute to the fallen, a symbol of love, wrapped tightly around street signs, retail windows, and restaurant entrances.
If you were to drive through my town today, you would still see the remnants of those ribbons. And you’d see fresh, new ribbons on top of those – bright blue bows, some with balloons, others blowing silently in the summer breeze.
This is our town. This is what we do.
We love. We grieve. We carry on.
But we NEVER forget.
RIP Sgt. Michael Chesna and Vera Adams.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.