When I receive notes or letters from people surrounding me, both my dearest friends and perfect strangers, I am filled up.  On days that I question my meaning, my purpose or my very existence, one simple thought sent from someone who would never know what is going on inside of me, can change my day instantly from bad to good.  The energy of their thoughtfulness transfers to my heart and I can again see the importance of living strong.  If hope were visible, it is often in these moment shared with others that I see hope. 

I discovered the message below on the Officer Down Memorial Page and found it powerful.  It is written to Shawn, but I have taken it for my own.  It encompasses meaning, purpose and the significance of life.  When I doubt, I will read this one hundred times:

Dear Shawn,

I write this with tears in my eyes.  Although we never met, I shook of fear when I learned of your death.  I proudly wore the uniform of a Reserve Deputy so I could assist at and then attend your funeral.  As I stood in the pouring rain among my other brothers and sisters who wore the uniform, I was certainly crying as God also wept with us.  I saluted proudly, but sadly as your body was driven to your church, and you were brought in for your final worship among strangers, friends, loved ones, clergy and God.  It was an honor to have been a part of paying final respects to someone who gave his life for all of us, and watch over you as you were laid to your final resting place.  Make no mistake however.  If I could go back to Sept. 6, 2005 and stop this tragedy from happening, I would do it without hesitation.

I hope you also know that on the day of your funeral, a business card was passed out to all attendees.  On the one side, it reads "Shawn Silvera met God Personally September 6, 2005".  The other side reads the most important phrase I have ever read, and I live by it, even more now then ever in your honor, "Shawn died doing his duty. Do your duty daily".  Thank you, Shawn. Your sacrifice has made me a stronger person.  You did not die in vein.  Please watch over and protect us.  God bless you and all of us who put on the uniform every day.

Sgt. Michael Kunze

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