It’s so easy to go through life taking law enforcement in our communities for granted. The safety and protection they provide is a gift and a privilege, and some pay the ultimate price to give it.
While we can never fully repay the debt we owe to officers and deputies, there are countless ways to show respect and appreciation.
As Deputy Tiffany Dial stood on the street saluting the motorcade that carried Sgt. Wytasha Carter, a fallen hero and brother in blue, she was getting soaked to the bone in the rain.
With tenacious honor and respect, Deputy Dial stood, undeterred by the weather, and saluted each car in the procession on the Birmingham, Alabama street.
In her element, she says she didn’t notice when the rain suddenly stopped above her.
It wasn’t a miracle, and the rain hadn’t let up. Instead, a complete stranger stopped and silently began shielding Dial with the umbrella he’d been carrying.
“I didn’t know he was there,” Dial shared with local news outlets. “My peripheral vision was cut off with my hat, so I didn’t know anything was there. I was in my moment.”
Captivated by the man’s simple act of kindness and honor, several passersby snapped photos and took videos, which have since gone viral. Some report that the man, later identified as Jefferson County Deputy District Attorney Shawn Allen, stood in the rain with Dial, not saying a single word, nearly thirty minutes.
“I had an umbrella and she didn’t, and I’d like to think that had she been a deputy saluting, or had she been just a regular person that was standing there paying her respects like I was, that I would have shared the umbrella either way,” Allen said, explaining how he noticed Dial after he’d come out of his office to pay his respects when he noticed the motorcade go by.
“And I imagine that if I had not done it,” he added, “that probably somebody else may have come up minutes after that and very well may have done the same thing.”
“It meant a lot in ways that you really can’t put into words,” Dial said before learning of Allen’s identity. “It wasn’t just about keeping the rain off of me for that little bit. It meant a lot more than that.”
Although a reunion of Dial and Allen is planned for next week, Allen wants to be sure that Dial knows “she doesn’t owe me anything.”
“I just appreciate what she does for a living,” he said, “and I appreciate what she was doing on that day, and I just was happy to help somebody who helps people.”
If we can thank God for each day that we have breath in our lungs and food on our tables, we can thank Him for allowing us to live in a nation with the dedicated, self-sacrificing individuals that make up our law enforcement agencies. Always be on the lookout for even the smallest ways you can show your appreciation to these men and women.