I wanted to do something special today, and this is what Jaimie's family asked me to do. This is my letter to Jaimie.

Officer Jaimie Cox, E.O.W. November 5th, 2017...Blessed are the Peacemakers.

Dear Jaimie – 

 

I met you twice, really quick introductions a few years back. Over the last 365 days I’ve tried to replay those brief meetings with every memorial, every event, every private moment where you and your family were on my mind.

I was laying on my couch the night I heard the heartbreaking news of “officer down”. I sent a text to a good friend that you know, who is a regular late night Rockford Police Officer. The message simply read, “text me back and let me know you’re ok”. The next 15 minutes seemed like hours, and finally I received a text back. That reply mentioned you, and was typed in a way that I could feel the emotion.

During the last year I honestly feel like I’ve known you my whole life. I feel a draw, a pull to your life and your legacy, that you left way too soon. 

I sat at your public visitation, close to the entrance, and watched uniformed officers from across the state and beyond, walk into the sanctuary. Each one fighting back tears as they shook hands with Mayor McNamara and Governor Rauner. in your honor.

I stood outside in the freezing cold by the blue glow of Morgan Street Bridge with people from all walks of life.  As a local pastor said a prayer, an older couple next to me that I never met put their arms around me. The comfort and warmth of strangers, gathering in your honor.

I drove around for weeks amazed by the amount of blue lights of people homes. This community mourned, prayed, paid tribute and lit Northern Illinois in BLUE, in your honor.

For the last 365 days there have been meetings, gatherings, motorcycle rides, 5k races, city council meetings, scholarships, church services, late night conversations and text messages, trips to D.C., trips to Springfield, obstacle course races, and so much love for you Jaimie! Heck, I’ve listened to more country music in the last year than I have in my entire life…in your honor.(BTW, your wife got to meet one of your favorite country fellas…Justin something. She said it felt like you were with her.)

I left you a Coors Light down at the Police Memorial in Springfield.  I stood there trying to wrap my head around everything that has taken place during the last year. Your family, your friends, your brothers and sister in law enforcement, they ALL miss you. Today will be a tough one, today is all about your honor. 

“I” have used “I” a lot in this letter to you Jaimie, not because this is about me but because “I” was HONORED to be asked by your family to write you this letter, in your honor.