Auburn isn’t alone.
Auburn Police Division isn’t alone.
The family of Auburn police officer William Buechner, killed Sunday night while serving in the line of duty and coming to the aid of a reported domestic violence victim, is not alone.
The families of Auburn police officers Webb Sistrunk and Evan Elliott, both shot and injured in the same incident as Buechner, are not alone.
Similarly, the residents of rural Opelika, Smiths Station and Beauregard, who suffered so mightily after the killer tornadoes of March 3, are not alone. In fact, a phrase was coined after that event that still holds true:
Lee County strong!
Today, however, it is all about Auburn, the courageous men and women of the Auburn Police Division, and most certainly the families.
They are grieving.
We are grieving.
Lord only knows what prompted a 29-year-young man to become so vindictive or angry or insensitive as to greet with gunfire and hand out death to police officers there simply to do their job.
Yet, the man did, and an officer lost his life, and a wife lost her husband, and two young children lost their daddy.
Auburn police officers and the extended local family of law enforcement lost a brother.
Many lost a valued friend.
We all lost a dedicated public servant.
No, no one is alone in the grief of this tragedy, nor should they be in the fond memories of the man we’ve lost.
His life deserves celebration. His service deserves honor and recognition.
His loss deserves tears.
We share them, all, together.
Recover well, officers Sistrunk and Elliott, and your brothers and sisters behind the shield.
And know this in your time of sorrow, in your times of danger and sacrifice, in your times of joy and celebration: When it comes to these feelings regarding your decision every day to put on that badge, and whether anyone realizes what it means…
You’re not alone.
We do, and we thank you.
Rest in peace, officer William Buechner, and God bless your family.