If you travel to Simi Valley, California and exit the freeway and take a right, there is a road that soon bends sharply to the right. It curves—first left, then right—over and over as you climb the rugged mountains to the top. First a parking lot and then you have arrived at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
President Reagan is buried in the back of the museum and there is a large stone wall immediately behind his grave. Of the thousands of quotes Ronald Reagan delivered as a movie star, spokesman for General Electric, Governor of California and two-term President of the United States, only one is engraved on that wall.
It reads, “I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”
This week I needed a dose of optimism.
Our current President seems proud of the fact that he is now negotiating with terrorists. The Georgia Supreme Court, like the Court of Appeals and the trial court before it, ruled that the way to address misconduct between a judge and a lawyer was to give new trials to a rapist, a burglar, a kidnapper, and a few armed robbers. Just north of here an idiot started a gunfight on the front lawn of a courthouse, shooting an officer in the leg.
And, of course, Griffin Police Officer Kevin Jordan was shot in the back and killed while doing his job.
Where is all that goodness in mankind?
Well, let’s look closer.
Last week I invited readers to contribute to the fund set up for Officer Jordan’s seven children. I offered to deliver any money you sent to our offices to that fund. So far, good citizens have donated hundreds of dollars. I’m sure we will receive more in the coming weeks.
Officer Jordan’s funeral and the procession that followed was a beautiful display of goodness as hundreds of law enforcement officers—each of whom would make the very same sacrifice if necessary—mingled with thousands of citizens in the church and along the road. As the sound on bagpipes pierced the silence we were all joined in heart, mind and purpose.
None of this could top graduation. Like all of us, Officer Jordan had lived for the day when he would watch his child accept his high school diploma. He was killed one week before he could experience that joy. There would be an empty seat at this graduation.
But, somehow, that wasn’t acceptable. When Kevin Jordan’s child walked to the stage and looked into the crowd, he didn’t see an empty seat. Instead he saw more than one hundred uniformed law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions.
“I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will eventually triumph…”