NORTH TEXAS–The hardest part is saying goodbye.
On Wednesday, North Texas said goodbye to three of the five officers who died in Thursday night’s ambush.
At mass for DPD Sgt. Michael Smith, Father Michael Forge tried to answer the question many ask at times like these: how could God let this happen?
“God didn’t do this. The anti-God did this. The evil one did this,” Fr. Forge said.
“Unfortunately, and more and more of late, it seems that some people are using their free will to choose hate. That’s what we saw last Thursday night in Dallas: someone who chose hate.”
He said Sergeant Smith was a man who put everyone else first.
“His choice to serve in the Army was a choice to love. His choice to serve for nearly 30 years in the Dallas Police Department was a daily choice to love as well as to serve and to defend.”
At the service for DART officer Brent Thompson, we heard about another officer who chose a life of serving others.
“We grieve his loss, we honor his courage. We push forward, lifted up, emboldened by the promise of better days,” said Pastor Rick Lamb of Northside Baptist Church in Corsicana.
“The main reason that he went overseas is not for the money, he wanted to go overseas and serve his country, serve the causes of freedom and democracy around the world to make sure that his kids would be free and have a good life. That’s his motivation.”
“Every child thinks that their dad is a hero,” Sandy Thomas, one of Brent Thompson’s six children, said. “But the six of us up here can hold our heads up high knowing our dad is a hero.”
“Tonight we say our final ‘goodbye, we love you, be safe.'”
Thompson’s wife of only two weeks, a DART officer herself, spoke directly to everyone on the force.
“To my brothers and sisters in blue, I encourage you to stand with me, continue to wear the badge with me, remembering the oath we took,” Emily Thompson said. “We will not, we cannot, we shall not let the acts of a coward break us.”
She was presented with the flag used to drape the coffin of the marine.
Fellow officers had their own special ways of describing Dallas senior corporal Lorne Ahrens.
“He was the guy you always wanted to show up, your backup,” Dallas police Officer Eddie Coffey said. “His size alone shocked most.”
“Lorne was one super-sized can of kick ass,” Dallas Officer Debbie Taylor said.
Pastor Rick Owen spoke directly to the family about how to keep going without their husband and father.
“Together, you and you and you, you three, can rebuild your lives. You can, with the help of the people around you and with your church.”
Words that can help the entire community heal.