Last week was a tough week for the Detroit Community. We have lost two outstanding individuals that provided shining examples of how we should all lead our lives. Detroit Police Officer Brian Huff and Tiger Broadcaster Ernie Harwell should both be remembered in all of our hearts.
Ernie Harwell will be remembered as the voice of summer for three generations of Detroiters. He began his career when baseball, the game of summer, was also America’s past time. Fans would hang on his every word when listening to the Tiger Baseball game. But, he never placed himself between the game and the audience. He knew they were there to listen to the game not his personal life.
He also provided a great example of life outside of baseball. In great contrast to so many people who claim fame, he was a genuine soul. Like the box score on a perfect game he had No drugs, no affairs and no bad things to say about anyone. He will be dearly missed.
But, the heroism of Detroit Police Officer Brian Huff must take a place above that of Harwell’s in the community. This is not to take anything away from Harwell. It is just that he labored in the limelight of fame. In that light, he did not succumb to the corruption that often follows and is to be honored. But, Police Officer Huff labored in anonymity. His heroism wasn’t in bright lights, his was in the quiet and ill lit light of everyday life.
When the call came from neighbors that there was trouble, a Detroit dispatcher sent a car with officers that had less experience on the force then Huff. It is reported that he was on his way to help before the dispatcher sent him as back up. Huff knew that there would be trouble and the officers responding to the call were going to need help. He was willing to place his life on the line because he thought that his experience on the job would help save lives and protect the community. That was to be Huff’s last call. He died quietly without lights or glory, a true hero’s death.
As individuals living in the community, we must all take on our responsibilities without the bright lights that come with fame. Every day we make sacrifices and invest our time and labor to make our lives and the community better. At the end of each day no one is there shining a light on our lives for everyone to admire. In the dark of night we lay down and go to sleep with only the self knowledge that we have done the best we can. Officer Huff must have done the same thing every evening.
While we honor the Harwell’s of the world with bright lights, the greatest tribute we can provide for the Officer Huff’s of the world is to continue to make the sacrifices necessary to build a better world for ourselves, our families and our communities.
A sincere and deeply felt thank you to Detroit Police Officer Brian Huff.