Memorial Speech, Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, NM
Dare Greatly ~ May 15, 2019

GOOD morning – Thank you, my brother in cause, Sheriff Mark Cage, for inviting me to your great state of New Mexico.  Beyond all conceptualizations, it is an honor of a lifetime to be asked to speak at this ceremony.

I am here to honor those before us and invite you to Dare Greatly.

I, however, come to you with mixed emotions; let me explain…This ceremony is solemn yet a celebration of life.  Yes, many are gone from us but look what they have done and consider what you are doing!  You all are the embodiment of keepers of the peace. 

Let’s turn to the bible, to Isiah 6-8 first: When asked who would go for us, they were the ones who raised their hands and said: “we will go — send us!”  And from Matthew 5:9: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

But what does this most solemn moment of remembrance mean? What makes this calling worth years of devotion?  What is worth dying for?  In a word— “OTHERS”! It is by sacrifices big and small that we have THE greatest country in the history of the word. Made possible by you, those who came before and those yet to follow. Serving the greater good is the epitome of what it is to be human! 

Thank goodness that a remarkable few swear to ‘protect against all enemies foreign and domestic’ as our brothers and sisters in the armed forces do—and as you do. Serving, most importantly, is sacrifice in a hundred small ways every day.

  • It is getting up every day and standing a little taller when the uniform goes on.
  • It is getting to know, really know, our neighbors and how best to make their day a little safer, a little better.
  • It is taking the time to deliver a wayward youth to parents with the wish that they do better.
  • It is practicing doing right—in the middle of the night—when no one is looking.
  • It is earning respect through a thousand kindnesses.
  • It is humble pride in a job well done.

Serving is simply magnanimous!

You make so much possible! I thank YOU for all those unspoken, unrecognized, unappreciated acts of professionalism hour by hour; day by day; year after year which make and keep this country free. While most of the world do NOT breathe free air!

You make so much possible!  I Thank you as an immigrant come here to realize a dream; a dream of being free to exercise my dreams, my creativity, my work, my determination to be an American! With you!  And where my son can be a fighter pilot in our USAF. I am so proud to be citizen of this great nation of ours.  And to give back. You truly inspire me to become more!

You make so much possible!  Frequently, I find myself TRYING to fully understand and appreciate the things that motivate people. The things that cause them to act or react for the sake of others. I reflect hard to fathom the depths of what it is to be human?  What sparks people like you and sparked our fallen to learn more, do more and become more?  That spark, that motivating nucleus of your energy to act right and well, I call OVĒA.  It is your sense of:

  • Others– It matters that we help make our communities places where we and our neighbors can thrive.
  • Virtues– It matters that we have character, real character. 
  • Ethics– It matters that we have exemplary standards of conduct.
  • Acceleration– It matters that we continuously become more for our families, our fellow officers, our communities and ultimately our nation. 

You make so much possible! I take enormous pride in the work you do for all of us, always going beyond the call of duty, obligation and supererogation to dream more—learn moredo more—become more while asking for little in return.  Then leave a legacy of a good reputation, well earned.

You make so much possible! But standing here today, still I find myself trying to understand why you do what you do, I must confess, I remain humbled at the path you’ve chosen, the calling you’ve answered.  I think they call it sacrifice, big and especially small. Sacrifice is cautiously walking to a strange car in the middle of the night.  Sacrifice is when, in the explosive heat of a moment, you must instantaneously Decide.  Instantly, instinctively you race through all your training and ethical grounding, and the anticipation of the second-guessing that you all know so well, before you take action that lives, including your own or your partner’s, may depend on. Sacrifice is when you witness the very worst that humanity has to offer, and STILL try to do what is right and even to fix things.

You make so much possible! And, your families make that sacrifice with you. We just celebrated Mothers days and we will celebrate fathers’ day in a few weeks. I think of the sacrifice that comes from those mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers and more who send their sons and daughters, or their husbands and wives, in harm’s way to do their jobs. I think of all those mothers and fathers and their sacrifice and that of their beautiful families.

You make so much possible! So, I’m again left with the question: why do you make that sacrifice? Why do you feel compelled to do what you do? And I suspect that reason. You do it for me. For my family. For my friends and my neighbors.

You make so much possible! You place your lives on the line as those before us did. You are the “warriors with guardian hearts” ~ molone labe “come and take it”.  This calling makes this country what it is and more important; reach the dream of what it can be.

President Theodore Roosevelt, through bitter life agonies, flying bullets and world renown, understood this as well as anyone. He asks us to “Dare Greatly” – It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end of the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; “so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

We take this opportunity to honor those who have given their lives for us all. We also honor all of you. We thank God that you are still with us; we would be under the fist of tyranny without you. You make so much possible!

May we Pray: In this time of remembrance, help us to remember and know Deeply.  That if we simply turn to You, Our hearts will be comforted, Our loads will be lightened, Our souls will be understood.  Amen!

Thank you, God Bless you, God Bless your families, and God bless this great country of ours, the United States of America.

Mitch Javidi, Ph.D.
Chancellor – National Command & Staff College
CEO & President, International Academy of Public Safety
Emeritus Professor – NC State University & Illinois State University
Honorary Member of the US Army Special Operations Command, 1999
Honorary Sheriff – National Sheriffs’ Association, 2015