parade22018

life is like a parade…

When is the last time you were in a parade?  Like actually in the parade itself?  Marching down the street smiling and waving at the crowds along the route as you enjoy the music of the marching band…

For us it was last weekend on the South Side of Chicago at the South Side Irish Parade.  As we marched down the streets – side by side with our comrades from the Chicago Fire Department Pipe Band – many of us thought to ourselves –  “life needs to be more like a big parade!”

You see when you are in a parade like that it is impossible not to be totally present in the moment.  Not just physically present, but mentally as well.  You are focused on your surroundings, enjoying the view and smiling and taking in the faces of those around you.  You are fully present in the moment to totally appreciate it in every aspect.

So often in life we are physically present for things but our minds are racing a million other places and worrying about a million other things – we end up mentally somewhere completely different then our physical body is at any given moment.  It’s like we are constantly disconnected from ourselves.  When we allow that to happen we literally miss the actual moments we are living in because we were mentally somewhere else.

That is why we have decided we each need to live in our very own parade.  We need to walk through each day as if it is our parade route, smiling and waving to those faces we pass by.  We need to be present, both physically present and mentally present.  We need to focus on each moment and appreciate each step along our own parade route.  We need to hear the music of the pipes and drums in the air and have that spring in our step as we walk along the route.  We need to enjoy each segment of our life parade.

Laugh.  Smile.  Wave to everyone (wrist, wrist, elbow, elbow – you gotta do the proper parade wave!).  Skip along. Dance at times. March to the beat of the drum.  Throw candy to the crowd.  Make them happy.  Be happy yourself.  Don’t worry about what’s ahead in your parade route – know that it’s just more excited people waiting for you to pass by them so there is no need to be concerned, just focus on what’s around you in that moment!  This is your BIG PARADE — ENJOY IT.

Have a great week everyone!  And go live in your parade!!!


From Amy Rees Anderson 


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why bagpipes?

The tradition of bagpipes and drums played at fire department and police department funerals in the United States of America goes back over 150 years.

When the Irish and Scottish immigrated to the States, they brought many of their customs with them. One of these was the bagpipe, often played at Celtic weddings, funerals and Céilís.

Those who have been to funerals when bagpipes play, know how haunting and mournful the sound of the pipes can be. Before too long, families and friends of non-Irish firefighters and police officers began asking for pipe bands to play for these fallen heroes. The pipes and drums add a special air and dignity to the solemn occasion.

Today, the tradition is universal and not just for the Irish or Scottish. The pipes have come to be a distinguishing feature of a fallen hero’s funeral.

The Chicago Police Department pipe and drum band was formed in 1999 and originated out of the idea we need to better recognize and thank the individuals who risk their lives on a daily basis for the safety of the community.  In addition to this goal this group strives to honor those heroes who have lost their lives in these endeavors.

These heroes are no longer with us. But we can tell you in our hearts, we will always remember and be grateful for your husband, your wife, your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your daughter, your son.

We will make sure that their names and their memories live on in the hearts, minds, and souls of our community for generations to come.

This is our commitment.  This is our duty.


Why do we play Balmoral So Much?  From the Wake and District Pipe Band in Raleigh, NC

Why do public safety pipe bands play the tune Balmoral to honor their fallen comrades? In asking this question it is important to understand the history of tunes to garner understanding of why we play them.

The tune Balmoral was written by Sir Robert Bruce of the Gordon Highlanders.  As a Scottish solider fighting in World War 2, Robert Bruce was captured during the Battle of Bataan in the Philippines along with many a fellow soldier.  The Battle ended on April 9, 1942, when U.S. General Edward King surrendered to Japanese General Masaharu Homma; by this point 75,000 soldiers became Prisoners of War. What followed was one of the worst atrocities in modern wartime history—the Bataan Death March. Robert Bruce survived this march, laying the road to Balmoral — honoring his comrades who died along the way with his tune.

Balmoral is a stoic 3/4 march which became almost infamous in the film BACKDRAFT which featured a funeral scene wherein members of the Bagpipes and Drums of the Emerald Society, Chicago Police Department played the tune to honor fallen firefighters.  The tune appeared again on film when the we played it during a police funeral scene in BATMAN; the Dark Knight.  The story doesn’t end quite there because some folks got in a wee bit of trouble over the tune being performed on the silver screen, but rest assured all is settled and we can play it to our hearts content.

WE PLAY BALMORAL TO HONOR OUR FALLEN;
IN DOING SO WE HONOR ALL THOSE
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN SERVICE TO OTHERS.


On 19 November 2014 the Wake and District Pipe Band in Raleigh, NC received the following note from Carol Bruce Lynch — the daughter of the author of Balmoral – Sir Robert Bruce.

Loved your comments about “Balmoral”. My father would have been so proud to hear his music being played all over the world. I spent many nights listening to Balmoral being composed along with his many other pipe tunes. My dad was so talented musically and I believe composing his tunes helped him cope with the awful memories of his time as a Japanese P.O.W. My son who is also called Robert Bruce e-mailed me the article this afternoon. If you would like copies of any other tunes just let me know. Thanks again, Carol Bruce Lynch, Scotland

 



photo credit: Chicago Police Department

when words fail…

This weekend captured a wide range of musical moments for members of the Chicago Police pipe band; playing the solemn honors funeral for a comrade while trying to lift spirits at a benefit later the same day. As musicians and cops, we continue to observe — people don’t know what to say sometimes. Words can be weak, especially in a time of loss. Music captures our range of emotions. The power of music is indeed, ASTOUNDING. Be amazed by grace.

Be amazed by Grace.


From BeliefNet.com September 2001 — It sounds from our TV speakers as cameras pan across scenes of unimaginable destruction. It fills gaps between radio news reports of lives lost in the thousands and economic pain to come.  We retreat from stress by playing it on our stereos and pianos. We sing it in our churches and synagogues and showers.

We have no companion dearer, in these difficult days after the terrorist attacks in our Nation and abroad — than music.

Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” calms our nerves.  Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” stirs our nobility and resolve. The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” and John Newton’s “Amazing Grace” reconciles our grief.  Music is hardly the “universal language” of cliche. What speaks to one person may confound or even annoy another. But in very personal ways, we respond to it on deep emotional levels, in places words can’t seem to go.

“For so many people, music is a source of comfort,” says Dallas Symphony Orchestra music director Andrew Litton. “It’s amazing how putting on your favorite song, or whatever, can so often make you feel instantly better or take you out of whatever mood you’re in.”

It matters not whether the music is high art or a barroom ditty. The tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was originally a drinking song. “God Bless America” began life in Irving Berlin’s Ziegfield-style revue, “Yap, Yip, Yaphank.”

The poetry of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is pretty purple, as is that of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The former’s tune, covering an octave and a half, is notoriously unsingable; the latter’s is almost a self-parody of dotted and drumbeat rhythms. “Extraordinary,” Noel Coward wrote, “how potent cheap music is.”

Patriotic songs have put plenty of lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes the past two weeks. With visions of passenger jets slamming into the World Trade Center burned into our retinas, Francis Scott Key’s “bombs bursting in air” have taken on tragic new immediacy. No one alive today will ever again sing “America the Beautiful” without wincing at the line “Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears.”

Unprecedented in human history, terrorist attacks leave us feeling defiled and vulnerable. Fearful and angry and frustrated, we face a shadowy enemy. Words, whether threatening or consoling, fail us.  In times like these, even those who recognize no deity find in music–to co-opt a line from the Psalmist–“a very present help in trouble.”

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra last weekend was one of doubtless dozens playing Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.” Broadcast on national radio at the deaths of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, this solemn essay in floating melody, building to an impassioned climax, then relaxing as in benediction, has become our de facto national threnody.

The ethereal Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony has also surfaced here and there. So has Elgar’s noble Nimrod, from the Enigma Variations. The New York Philharmonic on Thursday replaced its originally scheduled season-opening program with Brahms’ German Requiem, the composer’s warm-hearted memorial to his mother.

Like most of us, Darren Keith Woods, the new general director of Fort Worth Opera, spent much of Sept. 11 watching TV. He worried about friends in New York.

“Finally, I had to turn off the TV,” he says, “and I put on the Barber Adagio for Strings, and I just cried my eyes out. It was so cathartic.

“Music always imbues me with hope. I have to have it at the end of the day, when my brain is just crazy. That was just the perfect piece for me.”

Laurie Shulman, program annotator for the Dallas and Fort Worth symphonies and other concert series, says she relieves anger and frustration by running a few miles. “But when I’m dealing with grief or sadness, I take much more comfort sitting down at the piano and playing Brahms.”

Clearly, music can communicate emotion from one person to another. But by the usual standards of transmission, melody, harmony and rhythm are wildly imperfect. For all the analytical studies of Heinrich Schenker and other theorists, we’re hard-pressed to agree on the denotation, let alone connotation, of so much as a single phrase.

Music is no more a “universal language” than Urdu. Hip-hop and Hindu ragas are as incomprehensible to me as a Gabriel Faure piano quintet is likely to be to a Zulu tribesman. We can learn new musical languages, just as we can learn new verbal tongues, but we rarely venture far beyond formative experiences.

And, as with speech, musical languages have dialects that challenge comprehension. There are people who thrill to Renaissance choral music who wouldn’t be caught dead at a performance of La boheme, Beethoven lovers who can’t abide Brahms.

Still, even music outside our routines can grab us and move us. With churches lately filled with people who usually sleep in on Sunday mornings, we’ve been reminded of the enormous power–alas, now rarely experienced–of communal singing.

The words have been as different as a mighty fortress and amazing grace and we shall overcome. The tunes have ranged from stern Lutheran chorales to rural folk tunes to African-American spirituals. In whatever guise, congregational singing can bind us together across regional, racial and religious divides.

“For most people, community singing provides more solace than merely listening to someone else sing,” says Kenneth Hart, director of the sacred-music program at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology.

Hart also points out that TV often focused on hymn-singing in coverage of religious services in the days after the terrorist attacks.

“These people like (network news anchors) Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings, people who are seasoned and in some sense hardened by enormous experience, people who have seen it all, when they talked about the services, the first thing they mentioned was the hymns. They were amazed not from the esthetic point of view, but from the emotional.”

Clearly, music touches us on a level quite different from language. Maybe it’s a more primitive level, because babies “sing”–produce rising and falling inflections of tone–before they speak.

Scientific studies have demonstrated physiological effects of tone and rhythm–on heartbeats and respiration, brain waves and hormonal activity. Western music, at any rate, tends to be based on tension and release; Freud was not alone in relating it to sex. Some anthropologists have posited a physical need for music.

What’s undeniable is that music opens a portal between our inner and outer selves. It can be a means of expressing, however vaguely, our own feelings, and it can give access to our emotions.

A piece of music can acquire associations very different from what its composer intended. Used in Luchino Visconti’s film of Death in Venice and by Leonard Bernstein as a memorial to the slain Robert F. Kennedy, the Mahler Adagietto has acquired funereal associations. But recent scholarship has revealed that it was composed as a love letter to Mahler’s young wife, Alma. Barber’s Adagio, originally the slow movement of his String Quartet, was inspired by nothing more traumatic than a poetic image of a stream growing into a great river.

Music’s ambiguity may be its greatest strength. “The real power of music,” wrote philosopher Suzanne Langer, “lies in the fact that it can be true to the life of feeling in a way that language cannot; for its significant forms have that ambivalence of content which words cannot have.”

In her book Feeling and Form, Langer proposed that, at its basis, music is “virtual time.” It is a parallel universe in which we can both lose and find ourselves. And in time of trouble, it can be–as the Psalmist wrote of his Hebrew god–a “shield and buckler.”

Noting television’s startling juxtaposition last week of scenes of terrorist devastation with the consoling cadences of a performance of the Brahms German Requiem, New York Times music critic Bernard Holland wrote, “Art is our small, fragile claim to control over our lives. Terrorism offered us only uncertainty. Brahms brought the chill of uncertainty soothed by the knowledge of an outcome.”

And he concluded, “Music is a form of protective gear against sudden violent death. It is thin and penetrable, but it may be all we have.”


#BeAmazed #Grace


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what we selflessly do for others…

On Sunday 06 August 2017 the 100 Club of Chicago honored the families of police officers, firefighters and other first responders with a Family Day at the Brookfield Zoo.  The 100 Club of Chicago provides for the families of first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This membership based organization offers several forms of financial assistance, access to resources and moral support. All sworn federal, state, county and local first responders stationed in Cook and Lake Counties are included.

Our band was honored to participate in this event alongside our comrades — Chicago’s bravestthe Chicago Fire Department Pipes & Drums.

This was one of several events band members participated in this weekend — which included a retirement party for one of our found members (Tom Cunningham).

Recapping the weekend, our Drum Sergeant (P.O. Joe Gallardo) had this to say:

This weekend I was blessed and honored to play a few events for fellow LEOs: P.O Tommy C, P.O Richard Clark, and Deputy Superintendent Jeanne Clark.   Using our talents in service to others is rewarding and it is a large part of our band’s mission.  Stay the course and stay on top of your instrument. What we selflessly do for others goes a long way.

 


golf-outing

Golf outing and fundraiser…

Most everyone is familiar with the distinctive sound of bagpipes-whether during a parade, a funeral, or other special event, but did you ever wonder what these band are about?

The Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department is a not-for-profit 501(C)(3) recognized organization.  Founded in 1999, the Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department (PDCPD) is bagpipe and drum band with one mission – to Honor our Fallen. We are a group that’s dedicated to providing services to our comrades, and their friends and families, in their time of need. We have had the privilege of participating in honor ceremonies for the city’s fallen heroes, and of police officers and firefighters across the Midwest.

Most of the expenses incurred by the band for travel, uniforms, and equipment are paid out-of- pocket by each member. Additionally, members of the band practice and perform on their own time. Band membership is voluntary, it is comprised of only active and retired sworn Chicago Police Department members. Most practices and performances are done on the member’s free time.

When called to perform for line of duty deaths it is our profound honor and solemn duty to perform at no cost to the department or the family of the fallen hero. We are entirely self-funded, and as such, must hold fundraisers to help cover our expenses. The band provides some items to its members, but members still must purchase most of their own equipment and instruments as well as custom made items such as kilts, hose (socks) and uniform shirts. Members must also provide their own travel expenses for any out of town events. These expenses can be substantial, which is why we are asking for your help.  Since we are a 501(C)(3) organization, any donation made to our organization is tax deductible (Federal EIN: 36-4291914).

On SUNDAY, September 10, 2017 we are hosting a golf outing at Stony Creek Golf Course | 5850 W. 103rd Street | Oak Lawn, IL 60453.  We would like you to consider donating to this event. Anything would be greatly appreciated, whether it’s a donation that we could raffle off or a hole sponsor. Hole sponsor is $100.

Click here to download the sponsorship form.


The cost is $125 per golfer and $500 for a foursome.
Purchase from PayPal link below or send payment to:
CPD Pipe Band @ P.O. Box 557542 Chicago, Il 60655


How many Golfers




names

The Names…

Every time I go to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall I am struck by the power of a name.

My first impression when I visit the wall is the immensity of it, and the vast number of names written upon it; how will I ever find my friends? Thankfully, there is a handy reference book that tells you where each name is located. So you go to the book, open it, and look up your agency; and suddenly you’re confronted by names you weren’t thinking about at all, and they are instantly thrust into your consciousness.

McNeff, man you flew in that terrible storm to help in that medical emergency. Thank you for trying.

Gabrielli, my Vietnam War veteran poet friend, your tragic verse on the sorrow of battle still haunts me. You were killed at a stupid accident scene as your lovely new wife was riding along; such sadness in a hero’s life.

Who’s this? Oh yeah, Garcia! Fun-loving, hardworking cadet in the academy, your intelligence and wit would have carried you far; you would have been a good sergeant. But you were killed when your Mustang flipped. I still see you laughing at one of your own jokes during my DT class; I couldn’t be mad because you were so damned funny.

Skip? Yes, yes, I remember the day I got the call you had been killed in a fiery crash. You were so strong and dynamic; we had that fun argument when you taught us traffic code in the academy. I smile, a relief for a second from the sorrow.

Speaking of the academy, there is Blazer: sharp kid, made sergeant right away (I knew he would); great work ethic and keen mind; killed with Dave that terrible night. I remember that call, too, fresh as yesterday; two friends killed in a tragic instant.

Oh man; I look away from this book for a second. My eyes need to clear, my heart needs to slow. My daughter is watching me; I act as if the wind is bothering my vision. I look back at the book; oh so many names. So many more from just my agency, and the book is so damned thick, so full of lives lost in our service.

I get refocused and, with my wife, the Sarge—who has a list of her own names to find—take our daughter from location to location to allow her to get tracings of the names. I’m so glad I didn’t do this alone.

As my daughter creates art from a friend’s name, I look around at the wall and admire its power and meaning. So many names of so many heroes, a concrete manifestation of the cost of a civil society, the price of freedom, and a powerful message to those who serve and protect: they will not be forgotten should they fall.

And while my sadness aches, I am strengthened by the memories. I think to myself, This is why we make such a monument: to heal us, to strengthen us, to remind us that freedom is only as strong as the individuals willing to fight for it.

It is right and fitting that the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall memorializes a great panel of individuals who have shed their blood, and given up their dreams and futures, for all of us. A free society owes it to such heroes that we regularly reflect on their lives and deaths: men and women of courage, and love, and sorrow, and friends and family, people just like us, who have made the extraordinary sacrifice of their own lives for their communities.

While I no longer put on a badge and gun, and my service is limited to writing and teaching, I still have dreams at night of driving fast and serving warrants; and in those dreams my friends and I are young and agile again. Sometimes my unconscious mind brings back those who are long gone, or places friends in the wrong agency; dreams are what they are, but I think trips to places like the Wall prevent a lot of them from being nightmares.

Names remind us, sadden us, inspire us, make us laugh and make us cry, and most of all, make us remember.

It has been a couple of years since I went to the Wall, and I think this year I will go again and walk up to that book, open it, and thank God that such men and women have lived and served.

I pray that we never forget their names.


May 4, 2016 | by Dave Smith

Dave Smith is an internationally recognized law enforcement trainer and is the creator of “JD Buck Savage.” You can follow Buck on Twitter at @thebucksavage.


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“Officer Joseph P. Cali” post office…

On 23 April 2017 band members were honored to participate in the dedication ceremony of the Norwood Park Post Office as “Officer Joseph P. Cali” post office.  Here are some words from Chicago’s 41st Ward Alderman — Anthony Napolitano who helped make this happen – visit the Alderman’s Facebook page for photos and other media here.

Two years ago we honored slain officer Joseph P. Cali with an honorary Street dedication. We wanted to do more for our 41st ward resident, police officer, first responder, father, husband, friend and veteran. Today, along side the Cali family, we have come full circle with the naming of Norwood Park Post office at 6300 N. Northwest Highway the “Officer Joseph P. Cali” post office.

Thank you to everyone that made today possible and for getting this submitted into congress for us. Congressman Michael Quigley and Mary Ann Levar, Michael P McAuliffe, Michael Byrne, Chicago Postmaster Tangela L. Bush.

Thank you to Alderman Nicholas Sposato and the hundreds of 41st Residents that helped celebrate Officer Cali’s coming home. Thank you to Mike Jettner Revel Bar Chicago for hosting an after party celebration. A big thank you to David Dis for all his help and organizing donations today for Brotherhood for the Fallen. A special heartfelt thank you to the entire Cali family.

Honorable representation by Chicago Police color guard, Chicago Police pipes and drums, Chicago Police Department Commander William Looney and the 016th district officers, Chicago Fire Department Battalion 11, Engine 119, Truck 55, Ambulance 39, the scores of military veterans, Blue Knights Illinois XI ” Chicago ” L.E.M.C. Ride With Pride, Brotherhood for the Fallen

Every time you visit the library, remember Joseph Cali and share his story. Thank him for his service. Remember our hero and the ultimate sacrifice he made.

“When I start my tour of duty, Lord, wherever crime may be, as I walk the darken streets alone, let me be close to Thee”
#GettingitDonein41
#CommunityFirstin41

United States Postal Service (ISC), United States Army, Norwood Park Chamber, Edison Park Chamber of Commerce, Edgebrook Chamber, Nadig Newspapers, DNAinfo Chicago, Fraternal Order of Police: Chicago Lodge No. 7, Chicago Fire Department Firefighters Union – Local 2


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Honor Flight 12 April 2017

Band members are privileged to be a small part of HONOR FLIGHT CHICAGO as part of the “homecoming” festivities at Midway Airport.  We provide the skirl of the pipes and warbeat of the drums side by side with our comrades from the the Chicago Fire Department Pipes & Drums and the Fire Fighter’s Highland Guard of Naperville.   The Honor Flight mission is to transport America’s Veterans to Washington, DC to visit those memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifices of themselves and their friends.


Honor Flight Chicago is dedicated to honoring Chicagoland’s WWII and Korean War veterans by flying them, all- expense-paid, to Washington DC for the day to reflect at their memorials. WWII veterans have been given top priority because their memorial was opened May 2004, by which time many of them were not physically or financially able to travel to Washington on their own. This is our way of saying thank you for all that these men and women sacrificed for our country and for us. When we have flown all of our WWII and Korean War veterans to Washington DC, we will begin honoring our Vietnam veterans. 

Donations to help make these trips for veterans possible are gratefully accepted on their website at http://honorflightchicago.org or can be mailed to their office at: 938 West Montana, Chicago, IL 60614


was-i-a-good-cop

Was I a good cop?

To those not retired, you will get there someday. To the others, I just had to pass this on.  Pass this on to any other retiree you know that I may have skipped over.  I think we can all relate in one way or another to this ….. Especially the last paragraph!

Thoughts from a cop who retired in ’91. Just before retiring, some young puppy was busting my chops about how law enforcement has changed, and the system is improving for the best I just smiled and gave him a little laugh.

He asked what was so funny. I told him that I felt sorry for him. When asked why, I told him, “Because in about 15 years, THIS is going to be your good old days.”

We all saw the change in our jobs. I came on in 1966. I used to tell the rookies that our academy lasted 3 months. They gave us a stick, a gun, a dime, and kicked us out into the street. They told us: If you need help, use the dime. If you can’t get to a phone, use the stick. If using the stick pisses him off, use the gun.

And the first order we received when we were assigned to a district was from our sergeant. His order was “Don’t you EVER bother me, kid.”

Law enforcement then, was much different than the current mission We delivered babies, got rough in the alley when we needed to, made “Solomon-like” decisions at least once a tour, and often wound up being big brother to the kid we roughed up in that alley a year or so ago. And, for some reason, none of that managed to get on a report. And the department didn’t really want to know. All they wanted was numbers, and no ripples in the pond.

Because of the changing times, and the evolution of law enforcement, the modern young officers will never see that form of policing, and of course this is best; the current way is the right way… Now. But it was different then (ergo, the Dinosaur Syndrome).

When it’s time to go, we wonder if we’re going to miss the job. After all, other than our kids and a few marriages, it was the most important thing in our lives. Actually, it was the other way around. The job was first, but only another cop could understand how I mean that.

But have faith, brother! After a short time of feeling completely impotent (after all, you’re just John Q. Now), reality hits like a lead weight

It’s not the job we miss after all. It’s what we, as individuals, had accomplished while in this profession that we miss. The challenge of life and death, good and bad, right and wrong, or even simply easing the pain of some poor bastard for a while, someone we will never see again.

We know the reality of what’s happening out there. We are the ones who have spent our entire adult life picking up the pieces of people’s broken lives. And the bitch of it all is that no one except us knows what we did out there.

I was once told that being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants It’s a nice warm feeling, but you’re the only one who knows anything has happened.

What I missed mostly, though, were the people I worked with. Most of us came on the job together at the age of 21 or 22. We grew up together. We were family. We went to each others weddings, shared the joy of our children’s births, and we mourned the deaths of family members and marriages. We celebrated the good times, and huddled close in the bad.

We went from rookies who couldn’t take our eyes off of the tin number of the old timer we worked with, to dinosaurs.

After all, what they gave us was just a job. What we made of it was a profession. We fulfilled our mission, and did the impossible each and every day, despite the department and its regulations.

I think the thing that nags you the most when you first retire is: After you leave the job and remove your armor, the part of you that you tucked away on that shelf for all those years, comes out. It looks at all the things you’ve hidden away. All the terrible and all the wonderful things that happened out there. And it asks you the questions that no one will ever answer.
“Do you think I did OK? Did I make a difference? Was I a good cop?”

You know what? Yeah, you were a good cop! And you know it!


 

In closing: the best advice I got, by far, was from an old friend who left the job a few years before me. He told me to stay healthy, work out and watch my diet. He said “Cause that way, the first day of every month you can look in the mirror, smile and say. Screwed them out of another month’s pension!!

Be well!


slider-3-31-2017

Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec…

For centuries, Quebeckers and Irish have had strong ties dating back to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants in Québec City in the early and mid-nineteenth century, especially during the tragic Great Famine in Ireland Between 1845 and 1851.  For this reason, the City of Quebec is especially proud to be connected with the St. Patrick’s Day festivities and the 8th edition of its annual parade – and the members of the Chicago Police Department’s bagpipe and drum band were honored to be back parade.

So many amazing moments to look back on with smiles.  New friends made, old friendships renewed.  As always – it is a privilege to see our comrades from the NYPD and Boston Police pipe bands.  Our mate Bruce Kirkwood sums up the good times had by all in the photo below.  Be sure to surf our Facebook page for a myriad of sights and sounds from the 8th Annual  Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec…  Thank you Quebec.

Cover photo by: Jay Ouellet

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