AFTON — The following was submitted by Victoira Shaw Newsham.
“I don’t know”. My standard reply, when folks ask me what is wrong with people. But, today I was blessed with experiencing what is “right” with people. I now I have the answer to what am wrong with people.
As I descended Parley’s Summit and rounded the last curve by Jeremy Ranch, I was looking forward to a late lunch at the Park City exit. Running through the list of qualifying dining choices was cut short by a huge swath of flashing lights. To the right of the interstate was a long line of law enforcement vehicles facing toward the interstate. The officers were at attention in front of their vehicles. I realized at that moment, what the glare of lights ahead of me was. This was no crime scene. I was witnessing the journey home for one of Wyoming’s fallen sons.
I made my way to the motorcade. I fell in line behind the last officer. It was so quiet, and yet so loud. I tried counting the motorcycle officers, there were too many to count, and then the hearse. Following were civilian vehicles with the family of the fallen officer. Bringing up the rear were UHP, and Utah city officers.
The long steady stream of flashing lights flowed in the left lane of interstate 80 toward home. I would have gladly gone to jail for running the pick up next to me, into a ditch as he tried to pass on the right. That is what’s wrong with people. Simple. The UHP in front of me had to straddle the center line more than once to keep people from passing the motorcade. That is what’s wrong with people.
We traveled in silence, in orchestra. A semi cut into the procession. That is what’s wrong with people.
We flowed through the winding interstate, and I felt the knot in my stomach each time I caught a glimpse of the Hearse.
We exited at Bear River in Evanston, and wound toward highway 89 to make the final trek to Afton.
I pulled over briefly, as the motorcade drove under two fire truck ladders, crowning the path with a giant stars and stripes. It was after turning onto 89 that the procession entered the highway department lot. As the officers exited their vehicles, I saw the family exit their vehicles. Two young boys in shirt and tie and a small girl stood beside the officers. As the Hearse refueled, I made my exit for home. And then I turned around. The motorcycle escort was refueling at the gas station. I pulled in and waved a thank you. You’re welcome several said in unison.
The respect and honor that I witnessed today, is what is right with people. The way I was raised to recognize respect, and the knot in my throat when I see our flag, is what is right with people. The respect for even the tiniest living thing, yep, that’s what is right. Getting teary eyed at the ballpark, when they play the National Anthem, yes. Seeing my grandson’s respect what their parents have served to protect, yes.
Sending my Dad best wishes on this Father’s Day, for all he instilled. That is what’s right with people.
Godspeed and Thank You for your service, Officer Alyn Beck. Welcome Home.
-Submitted to SweetwaterNOW.com by Victoira Shaw Newsham