Today We Remember

Lest we forget, Officers Smith, Ahrens, Thompson, Krol and Zamarrippa were killed two years ago today in Dallas protecting the First Amendment Right of protestors calling out police departments across this country to stop police violence.

The oaths I took as a member of the Armed Forces required me to uphold and defend The Constitution. Not just parts of it. Not just the parts I liked. And not just parts I agreed with.

Whether it’s an upside down American flag in Weatherford, Texas, taking a knee during the National anthem, climbing the Statue of Liberty or climbing a flagpole to take the “Stars and Bars” down. We have a right to free assembly and voicing our displeasure with our Government.

Whether you’re Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Buddhist, Sikh, Protestant, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, atheist, agnostic, Wiccan, Scientologist, Satanist or any other self-professed faith, you should not be encumbered from your own practice of those beliefs.

The Press shall remain free to report (if not accurately, at least without government interference).

Many thousands have died for these rights. Most were men and women of the Armed Forces. Many in law enforcement. Many others, in unmarked graves in Mississippi, Alabama and other places were civil rights were sought, trees and lampposts across the Nation, fence posts in Wyoming. Spanish and French soldiers who fought with the Colonists against the British.  In jail cells in Waller County, Texas and other places.  And four little girls in the basement of a church in Alabama.

They seldom made a choice to give their lives.  They were mostly unintentional martyrs.  Nonetheless, their sacrifice was great.  A sacrifice we should never forget.

Hold our elected officials to the highest standard of their oaths.  Remind them of these, and the scores of other, examples of what it looks like to “uphold and defend” the Constitution of The United States.  For today we remember.  Let it be so everyday.


About Vince Gonzales

United Methodist Laity, married to a recent Seminary graduate seeking ordination. Active at all levels of the Church, I sit on the Board of The General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church, one of our 13 UMC Agencies. I also am the Chair of the Racial and Social Justice Task Force of Churches Uniting in Christ, an ecumenical group of communions, dedicated to the reconciliation of ministries and fighting racism, as well as representing the UMC at Christian Churches Together's Hispanic/Latinx Ministry Gatherings. Additionally, I am one of two committee members from the South Central Jurisdiction serving on the DisAbility Ministries Committee of the UMC. My polity pendulum often swings to both extremes so one never knows what they might find on this page!
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