Friday, May 19, 2017

Holly Cahill – "You Still Put the Uniform On" (2016)

They call you names and spit in your face
But if you weren’t there
Who would take your place?

On October 8, 2016, Officers Jose “Gil” Vega and Lesley Zerebny of the Palm Springs (CA) Police Department were shot and killed when they responded to a domestic violence call.

Officers Vega and Zerebny
Officer Vega, a 63-year-old father of eight, was a 35-year veteran of the Palm Springs Police Department who had used CPR to save the life of a two-month-old baby girl in 2012.  

Vega had told his chief that he was planning to retire in December of last year.  (He had been eligible to retire for several years, but had chosen to stay on the force.) 

Officer Zerebny, who was 27, had joined the Palm Springs police force less than two years before she was killed.  

Zerebny and her husband, who is a sheriff’s deputy in Riverside County, were the parents of a four-month-old baby.  She had only recently returned to work after giving birth to her child.

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To pay tribute to Vega and Zerebny, the Palm Springs Police Department sent the door from one of its patrol cars – signed by their fellow PSPD officers – to be displayed at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC:

Each year, thousands of law enforcement officers come to our nation’s capital on National Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15) to honor their comrades who have died in the line of duty.  The event is also attended by many family members of those fallen officers.

Police honor guards from around the United States take turns standing vigil at the Memorial on that day:

The most notable features of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial are two 300-foot-long, curved stone walls that bear the names of more than 20,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty.  New names are added to the walls every year during National Police Week.

Those who visited the Memorial this week placed hundreds of handmade tributes to slain police officers on those walls: 

Here’s a very personal memorial to Sergeant Gregory Hunter of the Grand Prairie (TX) police department, who was gunned down by a fugitive from justice in 2004:

(I'm sure many of you are familiar with John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”)

The Palm Springs Police Department was not the only law enforcement agency to commemorate fallen officers by sending a patrol car door to be displayed.  Here’s one from the Harford County (MD) Sheriff’s Department:

There were also several tributes to police dogs at the Memorial:

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Holly Cahill was a 17-year-old high school student when she wrote and recorded “You Still Put the Uniform On.”

It pays tribute to her father, who’s a deputy chief in the Anaheim (CA) Police Department.

Here's a photo of Holly watching her mother pin her father's deputy chief badge on him in 2015:

Here’s “You Still Put the Uniform On”:

Click here to buy the song from iTunes.

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