Memphis Sea of Blue



     I attended "Wear Orange and Value Life",  National Gun Violence Day event which was held on June 2nd.  Then 2 days later, Memphis loss police Officer Verdell Smith. Officer Smith was working on the famous Beale Street in Downtown Memphis . A spiritually dead young man, age 21 years old, hit him with the car he was driving, after shooting 3 other people at another end of Downtown Memphis. After some research, I found Officer Smith picture and saw that his face was familiar. Then I found out, he is a member of the church of my child's friend which we have visited a few times. I was told that Officer Smith tried to help the males in the community. He added Officer Smith came across stern but covered it with love.   Our city held a 5K race in his honor. After his wake, Memphis Policemen held an event called "Sea of Blue." Sea of Blue, was a caravan that started at dusk.  It consisted of his family and other police officers in cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles with their blue lights on and sometimes flags waving. They honked their horns and thanked us over their mic systems, for standing and watching as they drove down the expressways and streets of our city.  It was a beautiful and touching sight to see. 


                                                     Pictured: Scene of "Sea of Blue" from Mt. Moriah Overpass in Memphis

     I personally want to say, it is strange that we loss an officer two days after "wear orange and value life" day. It is strange he worked hard in our city to help young males go in the right direction. It is strange the very thing he worked to change, took his life.  I believe that what he lived for needs to be carried on because it is so much work to be done and not enough citizens are helping to make a change. I feel his death was a sacrifice for others to realize to make a difference.  Many more men must step up to the plate to help the lost children, like the one who senselessly took his life and shot 3 others. He obviously never received the proper amount of counseling and assistance as a child coming up. Time to go... Lord E D dum dum. Remember "It takes a village to raise a child" and the killer's village did not raise him. They allowed him to continue to act like an animal without the proper guidance, discipline, love and assistance.  As I type this, Officer Smith's funeral is in progress. My heart is saddened and pray our city strive to do a better job of helping our disturbed youth. 


LeNiece Woods

LeNiece is a retired elementary teacher from the Memphis School System. She has been blogging since 2014 on social, political and cultural issues. 

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