four Lakewood officers were gunned down), I am compelled to mention them here. Today held one of those events as the short lives of Braden and Charlie Powell were celebrated.
I didn't know these boys, but I sat behind one of their young friends at the service today. He was flanked on both sides by his mom and dad. His little head fit just inside the crook of his dad's protective arm, a solider in uniform holding watch over his son. I saw this child grieve over his loss and his mom weep as she watched her child's tears.The father just held his arm over his son's shoulders, occasionally reaching over to touch his wife's arm in comfort.
My granddaughter's choir sang Amazing Grace to open the service - their young voices offering an echo of Charlie and Braden's song they now sing in the heavens. As moving as that moment was, I was most moved by the contrast this soldier-dad painted in the seat in front of me.
Here sat a warrior protecting his family, offering comfort to his son. He embodied everything a father should be. What sharp contrast to the man who murdered his offspring last Sunday. I know the Powell family is grieving too. They were at the service, ushered in and out of the balcony separately. It was a strange service in that regard, two families in such strife, grieving in such different ways.
But of all I witnessed today, the strongest image was of a warrior-father who restored my faith... that most men are good, that most dads love their kids, that there is far more good in this world than evil. Rest in peace and sing loud Charlie and Braden. We'll keep listening for the echo of your voices in the children around us. And know that fathers around the world will stand watch over their children in your honor tonight...