R.I.P. Officer Scott Bashioum
Yesterday I stood at the edge of the street in
and paid my respects to a fallen hero. And to all the living ones who came from
near and far to honor him. Houston, PA
I never met Scott Bashioum, although considering we lived in the same community, I feel certain we must have crossed paths at some point. Shopped in the same stores. Attended the same functions. I know we shared many of the same friends.
On November 10, he made the ultimate sacrifice. Yesterday, thousands of the people he worked to protect sacrificed a little of their day to stand in silence as Officer Bashioum was escorted through the county and towns we shared to his final resting place.
A few of observations that can’t be captured in photos:
When I first arrived, parking in the same lot I used to use when I taught yoga in this town, families and kids played in the patch of grass between the lot and the street. They laughed and tossed Nerf footballs. It was almost a carnival atmosphere. The joy of having a weekday off school. But the adults watched their cell phones. Not in the usual manner though. We were following the funeral in our county seat and tracking the progress of the procession as it approached us.
The first non-cell-phone indicator that they were getting close was when the State Police moved in, blocking the cross-street traffic. Then the sound of the helicopters. News helicopters. I watched the swarm and tracked the procession by the approach of the helos.
The cloud cover parted and let the sun shine through for a moment.
I noticed the football game had ended. Adults and children moved from the grass to the sidewalk. And as the helicopters hovered overhead, the voices fell silent. Every. Single. One.
For more than an hour, we stood together…and alone…in absolute silence…and watched hundreds of emergency vehicles. Police. Military. Fire.
EMS. Not to mention the limousines carrying
the family of the fallen. In. Absolute. Silence. Even the smallest children
seem to know. Some folks brought their dogs. The dogs didn’t bark.
Oh, I take back the “absolute” silence part. There was weeping. A lot of weeping.
This wasn’t the first police funeral I’ve experienced. I hope to God it’s the last.