TOUR AMERICA 2019: FLORIDA SPACE COAST

Home Is Where We Park It:  Joy RV Park

Date:  April 6, 2019

American Police Hall of Fame and Museum

OK, no more walking for a day or two.  I’m going to rest my knees.  Give them a well deserved day off,  NOT!  Maybe when I’m old and gray I’ll take it easy.  I’m nowhere near there yet so forget taking it easy right now.  As long as the knees bend I’m going to keep going.  There is just too much to see and do for one to sit around and act old.

This morning when we woke it was already down right warm.  I believe the temperature at 7 am was already something like 72 or 73 degrees.  Could it be that summer is finally here?  It’s beginning to feel like it.

Where to?  Barbara had discovered a place that we both really wanted to see.  It was the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum.  Given that our son Adam is in law enforcement this was a must for both of us.  Off we went and in no time we were there.

1 entrance

1a entrance

Founded in 1960, the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum is the nation’s first law enforcement museum and memorial dedicated to American law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty (more about the memorial later in the blog).  The museum through interactive simulators, displays, and over 10,000 artifacts, educates the public about the history and current trends in law enforcement.

Upon entering the museum you see in front of you a display of historic and current police vehicles.

2a hall of cars

Here are two vehicles from the past.

IMG_5177

The one on the left is rather interesting.

IMG_5178

Yet the one that captured my attention immediately was Officer Hank’s vehicle that is covered completely with signatures front to back, top to bottom.

3 officer hank 2

3 officer hank 1

This car is an ever vivid reminder of the fact that those who serve and protect are always in harm’s way.  Following are some of the signatures that are on the car.

This one really hit home.  A niece is now without her beloved uncle.  It can happen at any time.  It’s why Barbara and myself always say a silent prayer for our son, Adam, whenever he is on duty.  We know already of a couple of close calls that he has had, at least the few he will tell us about.

3 officer hank sig 6

There was also a display of police motorcycles.

2b hall of mototcycles

There were several display cases of all kinds of police equipment.

equipment

Including anbomb robot

bomb robot 1

There was a display dedicated to the Blue Knights.

4 blue knights 1a

This bike is on loan from a Blue Knight and retired police who had a dream of traveling around the world to promote the efforts of all law enforcement everywhere.  The tour began on May 15, 2006 and ended on July 30, 2009.

4 blue knights 2.JPG

Some of the route he took is outlined on his bike.

4 blue knights 3

There is a full size jail cell.

mock up of jail

Which Barbara decided was just the right size for me!  So here I am singing the jail house blues.  I have to say I knew I could walk out at any time, but it is a disconcerting feeling to have that door slammed shut with you inside.

Singing the jail house blues

After she locked me up but found that no jail could hold me she tried something different.  She put me in the electric chair!

me getting a jolt

Once strapped into the chair prisoners received a first jolt of 2400 volts and if that didn’t work they were given a second jolt.  Well, I survived so Barbara tried yet something different.  Into the gas chamber I went.

me getting a wiff

I don’t care what anyone says, I can’t imagine having to die in either of the two ways above.  Just sitting in each sent chills up and down my spine.  It’s no way to go.

Next, here is a display that gives one pause to think.  Look closely at each weapon.

toy or weapon

Think about it.  You’ve just a received a call Shots fired at such and such a location.  It’s dusk, the lighting is poor.  You arrive at the scene and someone rushes at you and points one of the above directly at you.  You have a split second to decide, toy or real weapon?  Each of the above is supposed to have an orange tip on them so I can tell it is a toy – do you see such on any of the above.  What do I do?  Do I fire because I believe my life is in imminent danger?  Do I wait and perhaps discover the hard way that it is a real weapon and they intend to take my life before I can act?   In that split second you life literally hangs in the balance.  What you do can never be reversed.  I’m glad I will never be put into such a situation.  I pray that my son will never be either.

While we’re on the subject of weapons here is an example of what some kids will come up with when intent on doing harm.  There is home made pistols and a knife in a hair brush.  Unbelievable but true.

guns kids made and took to school

knife in comb

OK, on the lighter side there was this exhibit.

Yes, we found them all!

Moving on there was a canine memorial that calls our attention to those special dogs who faithfully served and were loyal to the end.

2 Dog Memorial

The Hall of Fame, though, is more than just a museum.  They offer compassionate programs for families of fallen officers, including for instance birthday parties, scholarship programs, summer camp, and holiday gifts.

north pole

north pole 1

There is so much more here that if you haven’t been already I would encourage you to make time for a visit.  Allow at least two hours for your visit.  We owe it to ourselves to remember the sacrifices that police officers and their families make every day for you and me.

Before I close this post out there is one more exhibit that just stopped me in my tracks and tugged at my heart strings.  It is the Memorial Room.  It is a a 2000 sq ft. room created to honor and remember the over 9,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

memorial room

The marble walls you see in this room are inscribed with the names of the over 9,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.  New names are added annually during Police Memorial Week.  It is estimated that every 57 hours a police office is killed in the line of duty somewhere in America.

memorial room 1

IMG_5222.JPG

memorial room 2

I have to say it was a truly somber experience to walk among and around these walls.  It was a display that definitely tugged at my heart and brought tears to my eyes.  Posting it is still a moving experience.

I’ll end this post now with the Prayer For Peace Officers

prayer.JPG

Another day on The Road of Retirement is now in the books.  Once again we did it our way, traveling along, hand in hand, singing our song.  It was a very moving day in so many ways.  Today and always whenever I see a police office I make it a point to thank them for their service and to let them know I am praying for their safety.  Can I encourage you to please do the same?  Their job is a tough one and it is tough also on their families.

Thanks for coming along with us again.  We always enjoy your company and hope you will join us again tomorrow.  We have more traveling to do and places to see.  All of which we promise to share with you.

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before

See you on down the road

 

 

 

 

One thought on “TOUR AMERICA 2019: FLORIDA SPACE COAST

  1. Thanks for this blog. We had seen the signs for this but didn’t have the time to stop. Next time. These brave servants do have a difficult job and they are in my prayers everyday.

    Like

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