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While sorting through a deceased person's possessions, what is the most disturbing thing you found?

When I was at university back in the mid 1980s, I was dating this beautiful, blonde, woman whom I’ll call “Karla.”She was attractive, quite smart, athletic, and I believed that at that time we were very much in love.We dated for almost two years, and I had given her an engagement ring, which she had accepted. I had met her family, and she mine. We all got along very well, and I spent many weekends at her family’s home in an upscale city just outside of St. Louis.Halfway through our Senior year, we had gone to her house for Christmas. They really outdid themselves on the Christmas decorations, and I was happy to be spending the holiday there. My parents had gone to Aruba, and her parents always treated me like visiting royalty. I always enjoyed my visits there.Two days before the holiday it had begin snowing heavily, and Karla’s father, a Doctor, was on his way home through the worsening snow. Somewhere on the Interstate, just before his exit, he was killed in an horrific accident. I truly liked the man, and I was probably as distraught as were Karla and her family.I stayed for a day, and then, wanting to give them some privacy to grieve, drove back to my parents’ house, and spent Christmas with a couple of cousins and my Aunt and Uncle. Karla and I spoke almost non-stop over the break, and I went back for the funeral. It was as bad as you could imagine. Her sister, and Mother were withdrawn, and the atmosphere of sadness was palpable. Their father and husband was dead, and it could be no better. It was a very dark time.Karla stayed at home for the first few weeks of the semester, and then came back to school. I supported her emotionally, and our relationship actually strengthened. She began to pass through her grieving, and life somewhat went back to normal.Around the beginning of spring break, her Mother asked if Karla and I could go through her Father’s effects, and begin packing them up. She had planned to sell the house as without his income, she couldn’t afford to keep it. She also couldn’t bring herself to enter his study. There was life insurance, and I really believe she just wanted to live in a place where his “ghost” would not be there in everything she saw. They had been married for over thirty years, and I understand that feeling.His office was neat and well-ordered, and for the first days, we sorted among the papers and books, putting the important papers where they could be easily found and boxing up the lesser documents. Books were boxed up, mementos and accent pieces packaged for the move as well. Oddly, I noticed that, although he had pictures of his wife and two daughters, there were no pictures of him as a younger man, or of his parents. Unusual, but not remarkable. I asked Karla, and she simply stated that he didn’t talk about his youth or his family. Not altogether unheard of, and her explanation put it out of my mind.In the back of the closet was an old Mosler safe. One of the kinds you see in the movies with the ornate decorations on the front. An antique, but still, in excellent shape and functional. We stood looking at it for a few minutes, and I had no idea how to open it.Karla walked over to his desk and removed a piece of paper that had been taped to the bottom of one drawer. She told me that her Father had told her never to open the safe, and only use the combination in the event of an emergency.It took us several tries to open the safe, but we finally succeeded.What was inside, took me, and Karla, by complete surprise.Folded neatly inside, on top of a shelf, was the uniform of what we later found out was a Major in the SS. The tunic, cover, slacks, medals and insignia looked like they had been kept clean and maintained. It looked like it had been freshly dry-cleaned and was ready to wear.Under the shelf were several drawers, and in each one were his Ausweis, SS identity cards, daggers, commissions, promotion to the SS Medical Corps, and letters from superior officers; one was even signed by whom we later learned was Heinrich Himmler. There were also a significant quantity of Gold Krugerrands which he had obviously put aside for an emergency.The man who would have been my father-in-law was an SS Doctor who, I now believe, had worked under Mengele at one of the camps. In retrospect, it is still incomprehensible that he could have kept this a secret from his daughters, and presumably his wife. It also seemed logical. My own father was in the Navy during WWII, and never spoke a word about his service.With the exception of the gold, we put all of the contents of the safe into a footlocker, and she locked it up with a padlock. I don’t believe she ever told her Mother or sister about what we found except for the coins. She also swore me to secrecy.I know it shouldn’t have, but it gradually soured our relationship. She knew that I possessed terrible information about her family, and felt that I would always harbor ill feelings toward her for what her father was. I was numbed by what we found, but couldn’t hold her responsible for his actions.Unfortunately, our relationship slowly fell apart. She and I had gotten along so well. We were in love, and had planned on a life and a family of our own. As the poem goes, it ended not with a bang, but a whimper, and less than six months later, she gave me back the ring, and we never spoke again. We both graduated, received our degrees, and went our separate ways.With the advent of the internet, I learned, a few years ago, that her father had been on the “wanted list” of the Wiesenthal Center. For several months I mulled over whether I should report this to them, but by that time, he had been dead over thirty years and I could not see any reason to disturb his family with reporting this.It still runs through my mind, thirty-five years later.UPDATE #1Thank you all for your reads, upvotes, and comments. I have to be honest. Writing this rekindled my interest in Karla’s family. I found her sister “Lisa” on Facebook, and we had a long telephone conversation.Their mother passed away in 2015 at the age of 90.I asked Lisa if she remembered when her dad was born, and she said around 1910. That would have made him 35 when the war ended, and around 74 when he died. He looked younger to me.Lisa was two years younger than Karla, and was born around 1963 when her father was in his early 50’s and her mom was in her late 30’s.I asked her if Karla had ever discussed what we had found when we cleaned out the Doctor’s study. She responded that she had been told it was just a bunch of old books, antiques, and almost 20 ounces of gold coins. It was apparent that Karla never shared any of what we found with her sister.Karla is on her second marriage, and has three children, the oldest of whom was just elected to their State legislature.We plan a reunion of sorts, when I will be visiting her town later this year.Thanks again for the interest.

Why is United States House Representative Ilhan Omar being accused of antisemitism?

Because people do not want to accuse her of being “anti” the Jewish State of Israel.I have written the following letters to my Congresswoman.I am doing this every week and, each time I write a letter, I am updating this preface.The first letter was sent the week of March 18th.*Edited 1/10/2020*I have posted all of my letters on THIS Quora Answer below:After months of hiatus, simply trying to "write" a cogent and factual (dates; quotes; etc.) summary or analysis of my letters to Congresswoman Omar, and failing, I am simply going to start writing her again as I did receive an email from her, specifically asking for my opinions. It was a generic email, the type sent out by all politicians at this time of year, touting their accomplishments and asking for input.However, this is also an appeal to anyone interested, who would like to assist me in my efforts to put this all into some kind of book or a format that would gain widespread attention - please contact me!Meanwhile, "Back in the saddle again..."January 8, 2020Dear Congresswoman Omar,Thank you for reaching out to me for my opinions upon what the Congresswoman should be focusing.It is my opinion that you should be focusing on improving the Democrat Party's, and your, relationship and support for the Jewish State of Israel.Israel is the Only powerful and vital ally to the United States in the entire region of the Middle East and North Africa where our relationship does not revolve around the need to keep Oil flowing to Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world (the US is no longer dependent upon Middle Eastern oil).Israel is the only country in the region that most closely resembles the US in terms of its freedoms; diversity; and strength.You have often castigated and condemned Israel for its treatment of Palestinians while ignoring the facts that both Israeli Arabs and non Israeli Palestinians are treated better, much better, than Anywhere else in the Arab/Muslim world. Arabs who are Israeli or who live in the Palestinian territories have a far better, more stable, and more Lawful way of life than other Arabs in the countries that surround Israel.Please, Ms. Omar, acknowledge these facts. Investigate these facts. Find out the truth, as opposed to simply repeating the prejudices of those who inculcated them into you in your youth.I strongly urge you to educate yourself on all the facets of the recent history; the history in the 20th Century, of the Middle East and North Africa.Do you know how many non Jewish Arab Israelis live in Israel?Do you know their opinions on living as an non Jewish Israeli in Israel?Do you know the opinions of the Arab Palestinians of their rulers of either the Palestinian Authority or Hamas?Are you aware of how Arabs and non Arabs are ruled in Lebanon; Syria; Jordan; Egypt; Gaza; or in Palestinian Authority territories? Do you know how they live - economically or socially? What freedoms they have or lack?Last August, YOU condemned the Palestinian treatment of LBGTQ Arabs in a Tweet:"LGBTQ rights are human rights, and we should condemn any effort to infringe upon them."And your "reaching out" email, you touted the Equality Act - to ensure that LBGTQ Americans receive basic civil rights, as one of YOUR accomplishments.Ms. Omar,Are you aware that Israel is the ONLY state in the Middle East and North Africa where LBGTQ citizens of any ethnicity or religion receive basic civil rights and, can live freely without fear of being murdered by the State - as is currently being done in Iran or, as implied in your Tweet, in Gaza!Ms. Omar,You represent one of the largest Jewish constituencies between the Mississippi and the Rockies in the United States. The majority of us care deeply about the Jewish State of Israel.When you only condemn and curse Israel as oppressors and worse, you are not speaking truthfully,No only that but, you are deeply wounding your Jewish constituents by your repetition of this disinformation.Please.Investigate the truth.And then try and speak about the good that Israel does in addition to your condemnations.And then perhaps your Jewish constituency who do so strongly wish to vote for you, will do so.Be well,Sincerely,George MurrayOrginal Answer continued:The 11th (Edit - 12th, sent on Sept. 20th, 2019) letter (at the bottom) was sent on September 6, 2019Dear Congresswoman Omar,My name is George Murray.I live in St. Louis Park and you represent me in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.Recently, there has been a great deal of controversy over your views on Israel and on Jews in general.From my point of view, it appears that you may not understand the importance of Israel to both Jewish Americans and Jews of any nation.For over 3,000 years, the Land of Israel, which is where the present Jewish State of Israel exists today, has been a central focus of the Jewish religion.The well being of the Land of Israel and the Jews living in the Land of Israel is something that is part of our daily prayer obligations and has been for at least 2,000 years, as long as our daily prayer services have been in effect.It is my understanding that the Hajj; the Pilgrimage to Mecca, which is currently ruled by Saudi Arabia, is an obligation that every Muslim must undertake if they are financially and physically able.I suspect that you do not believe that those Muslims who do so; often at great financial sacrifice, have some kind of preference and loyalty to Saudi Arabia over their own countries, do you?Or, that the amount of money spent by Saudi Arabia in the United States and other countries; establishing mosques; University Chairs; and, yes, political action committees, is indicative that the Muslims who participate in these Saudi institutions or lobbying groups owe their allegiance to Saudi Arabia, do you?I also suspect that you do not consider the Saudi tribe’s brutal conquest of the Arabian Peninsula and the imposition of their harsh Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islam on their newly subject peoples to be an illegal occupation and theft of land from some of the exiled tribes, such as the Hashemites of Mecca, do you?In our Jewish community, which you represent in the US Congress, we believe that the Land of Israel was given to us by G-d. Our Torah and over 3,000 years of our Traditions inform us that this is so.Just as Muslims believe that Mecca and Medina; the Two Noble Sanctuaries; the Two Holy Mosques, are Holy Muslim Cities that belong to Islam, so do we believe that the Land of Israel is Holy and belongs to the Jews.Most of us, if not all of us, have friends and relatives; children and parents; grandchildren and uncles and aunts and distant cousins, who live in the Jewish State of Israel.Yes – we Are deeply attached to Israel.Yes – we Do try and help and support and, indeed lobby for, the Jewish State of Israel.The government of Israel is far from perfect. It has many flaws as do the citizens of Israel, Jews and non-Jews alike. But this is true of every nation on Earth.Congresswoman Omar;I wish you would go to Israel and talk to the over one million Israeli Arabs and Muslims and ask them if they think their country is worthy of being singled out by you, or by any other, as More oppressive; more brutal; more unfair; or more “illegal,” than any other nation on Earth.Your parents brought you from your native land, Somalia, ripped apart by war and oppression and brutality, to the one of the greatest nations that has ever existed in the history of the world; the United States of America.Well, compared to Somalia; or war torn, oppressive and brutal Sudan; or war torn, oppressive and brutal Libya; or war torn, oppressive and brutal Syria; or war torn, oppressive and brutal Iraq; or Iran; or Jordan; or Egypt; or Lebanon or even Gaza, or all of the other Arab and/or Muslim countries that surround Israel – the Jewish State of Israel is the most similar country in the whole region, by far, to the United States of America.It is to the benefit of the United States and to the benefit of Israel and to the benefit of the world that Israel and the United States maintain a strong alliance and try to spread their good shared values to the rest of the world.As a 13th generation American; as a proud Jew; and as one of the people that YOU represent in Congress, I beg you to reconsider your opinions and fears regarding the Jewish State of Israel.I would be more than happy to meet with you and give you any assistance in this regard or, recommend individuals with whom you might feel more comfortable.Thank you for your time.Sincerely,George MurrayAs of March 13th; this reply came in:March 13, 2019Dear Mr. Murray,Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I truly appreciate hearing from you and am proud to represent the people of Minnesota’s 5thDistrict.I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as my office works to respond to all constituent correspondence. I will respond to your inquiry directly as soon as possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-4755 or my District Office at 612-333-1272 if you have any further inquiries.Sincerely,Ilhan OmarAnd - as of March 21st (Purim), no further response. I sent another letter -My next missive to my Congresswoman.For those who think I'm too nice; it's Purim. All is not as it seems. Read it again after reading the Megillah...Dear Congresswoman Omar,This will be the 3rd year that Donald Trump is President.In these days, when you are my Congressional Representative in Washington DC, the Capitol, I know that the Democrat Party, Jews and Muslims alike, is enjoying great success and taking great pleasure in the Party.You have been raised above all the other candidates for your public office.However, based on your words, it would appear that you would like the Jewish State of Israel to humble itself before you.Based on your statements, you have now been called forth to please explain your positions and feelings regarding the Jewish State of Israel and American Jews.Your refusal to do so has incensed and dismayed some of your core Jewish constituents and they have become angry with you.The experts of the Party are still conferring as to what should be done, legally, to Representative Omar for refusing to address the concerns of her constituents.According the Esteemed Cable News Network (CNN), “Muslim and Jewish community leaders are united in frustration at [your] comments.”It may well be, that for the first time ever, in the history of the Minnesota Democrat Farmer-Labor Party, that your position could be overturned and you might no longer have the opportunity to be our Congressional Representative.Dear Congresswoman,This is the Jewish month of Adar.Jews are told that when Adar comes in – we increase our joy.The reason for this is that the Jewish Festival of Purim falls on the 14th of Adar which, this year is Thursday, March 21st.At the conclusion of the Purim story, called the Megillah; the Book of Esther, it says: “For the Jews there was light, joy, gladness and honor.”I suspect that the closest Muslim festivals that reflect this kind of joy might be Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.They are differently themed, but the idea is to celebrate the great gifts that G-d has bestowed upon us.The Purim story is about a wicked Enemy of the Jews at the time of the Persian Empire, who wished to annihilate the entire Jewish people because one Jew offended him by not bowing in his presence. He got permission from the Persian King to do so but, through a wonderous series of events, instead of the Jews being wiped out by the King; the King allowed the Jews to wipe out this Enemy and all the enemies of the Jews!The story of Purim is called “an upside-down story,” because Nothing is what it seems.In the Megillah, the hero Mordechai learns of the plot to destroy the Jews and asks the Queen, Esther (who, unknown to the King, is a Jew), to go before the King to save the Jews.Esther protests that she could be killed by going to the King uninvited.Mordechai replies: “For if you persist in keeping silent at a time like this, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from some other place, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether it was just for such a time as this that you attained your royal position?”In keeping with the “upside down” nature of Purim – I would ask the Congresswoman:If you persist in keeping silent as the Jews of your Congressional District implore you to respect them; and implore you to respect all Jews; and implore you to respect the Jewish State of Israel, then relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from some other place, while you may no longer be able to be a Congressional Representative.But who knows whether it was just for such a time as this that you; a Muslim Somali immigrant. Has attained your exalted position?”It’s Adar, Congresswoman Omar.On Purim, over and over again, the Hidden Hand of G-d has worked in mysterious and miraculous ways all through Jewish history.I hope that Congresswoman Omar will join with the Jews of her Congressional District and with all her other Constituents in celebrating the Hidden Miracles that G-d continually showers upon us all.And may we all celebrate with Light, Joy, Gladness, and Honor.Sincerely,George MurrayAnd - my 3rd letter; sent on March 27th (so far only form letter replies)Dear Congresswoman Omar,Life is Beautiful All the Time.I know that this is not normally how one starts a letter.However, as a way of trying to maintain the good character trait of greeting everyone with a cheerful countenance, I have been saying this for the last 20 years to everyone who asks me “How are you?”I always reply: “Thank G-d. Life is Beautiful All the Time.”As a woman with religious convictions who has escaped an environment of horror and death from Somalia to America, where not only are your neighbors Not trying to kill you; where not only are you living in Minnesota where people are inherently “nice;” but where you have also been elected to the United States Congress, the most prestigious legislative body in the world, I suspect that you too might look at your life as being blessed and beautiful all the time!Although, I do understand that I have not had the challenges in adjusting to American freedom and justice that you might be facing.My earliest ancestor came to these shores in 1650 as a bond slave or indentured servant. He worked for seven years and was then granted a tract of land to farm and the wherewithal to build his own house by the colony called the Province of Maryland and Avalon.He was also escaping an England torn by the horrors of civil war and destruction.Other of my great or great-great grandparents came to the United States in the 1800’s.Therefore, I am very privileged to be one of their descendants of whom all were naturally inculcated the Judeo-Christian values of American Ethics and Morality.I grew up believing that America was, indeed, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.My father would admonish me when I was little that, in this country, I could be whatever I set my mind to be – even the President of the United States! Being elected to public office was considered one of the highest ambitions a boy could have…I also grew up with the American axiom that if you don’t like what is happening in Washington DC, that it is your duty as a citizen to write to your Congressman!I tell you this because, when I read your remarks and opinions in the newspapers or I hear your remarks given in public, again, I realize that you have not had certain privileges with which I was blessed, which include the knowledge of my own personal family history; the history of the United States of America; and the history of the Jews, and the Jewish State of Israel.You recently wrote how much you are opposed to war. This is a good and noble sentiment.The United States of America changed the entire purpose of war in the 20th Century.For the first time in history, America went to war, not to conquer and dominate, but to free peoples from tyranny; despotism; fascism; communism; and terrorism.The US tried to create stability and peace in places riven with death and destruction.In some cases, such as your native Somalia, it failed.In other places, such as South Korea, it succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.You have also discussed the Jewish State of Israel in your writings or your speeches and how you believe the Palestinians are treated unjustly.The Jewish ideal is to be a Servant of G-d.I have been told that this is also a Muslim ideal.I have been told that Islam is a religion of peace. Not only that, but I have been told that Islam forbids the murder of innocents; that Islam forbids suicide by any means, so that Islam forbids suicide terrorism and, terrorism in any form whatsoever.I have also been told that Islam requires Kindness; Charity; and Humility.Your family escaped your native Somalia because Somalians were violating the principles of Islam and murdering each other and wantonly destroying your country.You, and millions upon millions like you, came to the United States instead of somewhere more culturally; ethnically; or religiously familiar, because the United States is that beacon of the Judeo-Christian American values, upon which it was founded, of Justice and Liberty.In the United States, the Pursuit of Happiness is a founding principle.In your native Somalia, and much of the that part of the world, the Pursuit of Death is a way of life.The Jewish State of Israel is one of the most similar countries’ in the world to the United States of America.Compared to its Arab or Muslim neighbors, Israel offers All of its citizens Justice and Liberty.Contrary to the Pursuit of Happiness, Hassan Nasrallah, the late leader of Hezbollah, once said of Israel: “The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.”Congresswoman Omar,I am sure that you love life.I am sure that you do not believe that Palestinians should be sneaking into Israeli homes and murdering babies; or stabbing Israelis to death at random in the street; or randomly shooting rockets into Israel from Gaza; or trying to burn down Israeli forests and farms; or doing any kind of vicious murder and mayhem, randomly attacking anyone, anywhere, Jews or non-Jews; Israelis or non-Israelis, in the Name of destroying the Jewish State of Israel.You are an American Congresswoman. You must believe in the American values of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.The Arabs and/or Muslims who surround Israel, from Syria to Gaza to Libya to Iraq to your native Somalia, are literally murdering each other by the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.Try to understand, as the proud and grateful American I believe you to be, when you condemn the Jewish State of Israel, you sadden the Jewish constituents of your Congressional District because – Israel is the ONLY country in the entire region that at least tries, however blunderingly, to create a haven of Justice, peace and happiness, in region plagued by horror, misery and death.Again, I would be more than happy to discuss any of these issues with you or, to recommend others with whom you might be more comfortable.Cordially yours,George MurraySt. Louis ParkA Constituent of your Congressional 5th DistrictMinnesotaAnd -April 2, 2019“… but in every generation, they rise up against us to annihilate us.”Dear Congresswoman Omar,This is the season of Passover. Passover begins this year, Friday night, April 19In times past, all over the world, Jews had to celebrate their Passover in secret because, “in every generation,” the nations would “rise up against us to annihilate us.”This was especially true on our Jewish holidays… or on their Christian holidays… or, as continues today in the Middle East, on their Muslim holidays.This quote is from the Haggadah, which is the text that we recite on Passover.The Haggadah tells the story of our freedom from slavery in Egypt.In it, we learn how G-d led us out of the bondage of Egypt and then, gave the Jewish People His Holy Torah.Passover is the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday throughout the entire world.Well over 90% of all Israeli Jews, even those who are very secular, celebrate Passover.These words “but in every generation they rise up against us to annihilate us”, literally describes Jewish History for well over 3,000 years as both nations and individuals rose up to annihilate us.It is no different today in the Jewish State of Israel.The avowed purpose of countless Islamist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah and ISIS and Al Qaeda and the Vilayat al-Faqih of Iran, is to annihilate the Jewish State of Israel.This line from the Haggadah is Jewish reality today.Congresswoman Omar,Your family fled your native Somali to the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya when you were ten years old because your people were murdering each other by the hundreds of thousands.That area of Kenya was originally part of ethnic Somalia so; your family was essentially seeking refuge in their own land among their own people.Eventually, you were fortunate enough to be able to emigrate to the largest Somali community in the United States Minnesota, where you could not only live with your own people but, you became an American citizen, able to rise up and represent all of the people of our 5th Congressional District.Imagine if you will that all of Africa had been trying to wipe out All Somalis.Imagine if you will a baby being seized in front of you and having your enemy casually smash the baby’s head against a wall, splattering it; or playfully throwing the baby in the air to catch it on a bayonet.Imagine all of your family; all of your people being herded into extermination chambers to be butchered; to be buried or burned alive; to be murdered by the millions.Now imagine that after this Hutu/Tutsi Rwandan-like genocide against your people stopped and you tried to return home – the people living in YOUR HOUSE refused to leave and, as a matter of fact, tried to kill you again…Imagine your people having nowhere to go – EXCEPT perhaps to your people in Kenya; to places like the Dadaab Refugee Camp.And now, imagine that All of Africa once more tried to slaughter you, claiming that Somalis had no right to live in former Somali Kenya – at all….In every generation, nations and individuals have risen up to annihilate the Jews – no matter WHERE they lived.Jews living under the Ottoman Empire in the Land of Israel or in the British Mandate of Palestine in the Land of Israel, were being murdered long before there was ever a Jewish State of Israel.The Jews that came from Europe after the State of Israel was established, climbed out of oceans of blood to try and create a new life with the Jews of Israel, away from the fires of destruction, only to find themselves once more engulfed in the fires of Arab and Muslim hatreds.The Jewish State of Israel, just as Jews have had to for over 3,000 years, has had to deal, every single day of its existence, with the Arab and Muslim generations that have risen up to annihilate it.However, just as Jews have done for over 3,000 years, Israel has grown stronger and prospered and become mighty, despite all of this horror.Your Jewish constituents in our 5th Congressional District; my friends and neighbors, do have, as you have pointedly noted, very strong ties to Israel and Israelis.These ties are even forged stronger when all Jews celebrate together, worldwide, on Passover, our freedom from slavery; G-d’s Victory over our enemies; and the forging of the Jewish Nation.I hope that you can reflect on your redemption from your wretched situation in your native Somalia, to being raised up to be a free American Congresswoman and praise G-d, as do we Jews when we thank G-d for all the miracles and wonders He has done for us.Sincerely,Your Constituent,George Moshe MurrayAnd…. My Fifth letter to my Congresswoman, sent April 11th, 2019Dear Congresswoman Omar,I recently read your interview in “Vogue Arabia” where you related how hard it was, at 12 years old, to move from the comfortable, familiar environment of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya to the more challenging life in Minnesota where you feel that “Every day, a part of your identity is threatened, demonized, and vilified…”There is a verse in the Jewish Torah where Moses, leading the Children of Israel in the desert, says to them: “… G-d will have heard your complaints that you charge against Him; for what are we? – not against us are your complaints, but against G-d!”There are whole chapters in our Torah dedicated to the bad consequences of speaking ill of others.We are taught that the bad consequences that come upon us as a result of evil speech are for our own good.These bad consequences are G-d’s mercy upon us so that careless, denigrating talk; gossip; and thoughtless insults should never become a habit.When the Congresswoman makes remarks to her Muslim supporters that “some people did something” when referring to the attacks of 9/11, this is careless; “bad speech.”I am sure that the Congresswoman does not mean to insult or denigrate the horrific death and destruction caused by Islamist terrorists directed by the criminal terrorist Osama bin Laden but, Americans of all stripes; ethnicities; and religions, are disturbed when you speak this way.You are not only a Democrat Somali-American Muslim from MinnesotaYou are The United States Representative to Congress of Minnesota’s Fifth District, which also has one of the largest contingent of Jews in the United States, West of the Mississippi - all the way to the West Coast.As I told you in my last letter, this is the season of the Jewish Passover; the Season of our Deliverance from slavery.We learn that when we left the slavery of Egypt over 3,000 years ago, we also found it hard to adjust to our strange new freedom.Egypt was a harsh and cruel environment but, we always knew what the next day would bring – more back breaking work; more punishments; more deprivation; and more cruelty.When G-d freed us from that bondage, every day was new and different.Now, we were free.We were free to make our own choices.But then, as it is today, every day was uncertain. Even with G-d’s protection, we were subject to our own free will and – the free will of our enemies.We were free to question our leaders; our mission; we were free to question G-d.And often, we made the wrong choices.Sometimes, we looked back at our slavery with nostalgia, longing for the familiar and afraid of the uncertain.When we tell the story of Passover in our Haggadah, we begin the story with lifting our dry unleavened bread; our matzos, and we declare:“This is the bread of our affliction that our forefathers ate in the Land of Egypt.Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat!Whoever is needy, let him come and celebrate Passover!Now, we are here; next year may we be in the Land of Israel!Now, we are slaves; next year may we be free men!”We tell this story of Passover to remember what our obligations are – to non-Jews; to Jews; and to G-d.We are instructed to open our homes; our hearth; and our hearts to everyone – even to those whom we would rather not have at our table.We are taught by this passage not to be slaves, begrudging of the gifts that G-d gives us all, but to be free men and women, with a generous spirit to all.I have been inspired to write to you due to a book written by Arthur Brooks called: “Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt”.With hope and respect, I urge you to rise above the ordinary bickering and hate that exemplifies so much of politics worldwide.I urge you to embrace your Jewish constituents; your American constituents; all of your constituents, in this Season of our quest to appreciate the freedom that has been given to us by G-d.May you too celebrate being lifted up from the familiar life of poverty in the squalor of a refugee camp – to being a free American Congresswoman who can appreciate the great good fortune that G-d has given you.Sincerely,George Moshe MurrayApril 15th, 2019You've got to be taughtTo hateAnd fearYou've got to be taughtFrom yearTo yearIt’s got toBe drummed in your dear little earYou've got toBe carefullyTaughtYou've got to be taughtTo beAfraidOf peopleWho's eyes are oddly madeAnd people whose skin is a different shadeYou've got toBe carefullyTaughtYou've got to be taughtBefore it's too lateBefore you are sixOr sevenOr eightTo hate all the peopleYour relatives hateYou've got toBe carefully taughtDear Congressman Omar,These lines are from the musical, “South Pacific.”The musical, which, as the song indicates, deals with prejudice, fear, and bigotry during WWII, was a smash hit in America – in 1958!Think about that Representative Omar.The United States of America, which was founded on the principles of Justice and Freedom, has been dealing with these issues for over 200 years!Americans have fought and died to end slavery; bigotry; oppression; and ethnic hatred.Africans; Somalis; Muslims; and Arabs have NOT fought and died to End these injustices and to free other peoples from the cruelty and oppression of their own peoples.Americans have!You are an American, Ms. Omar.You represent Americans in your 5th Congressional District.You represent Americans of every shape and size; of every ethnicity and religion; of every color and hue.You represent men and women whose ancestors have lived in Minnesota since before the United States became a country and you represent men and women who just became citizens last year!As an American, you must try to encompass all your constituents.White men do Not dislike you because you have darker skin or are either a woman or a Muslim or an immigrant or wear a hijab.Jews do Not dislike you because you have darker skin or are either a woman or a Muslim or an immigrant or wear a hijab.Norwegian farmers; multi-millionaires; Republicans; Born Again Evangelical Christians; or any other combination of American available, do Not dislike you because you have darker skin or are either a woman or a Muslim or an immigrant or wear a hijab.It is quite possible that some Americans dislike you because of what you say, or because of what you do – and that these same Americans disagree with you.I know for a fact that this is true of some Somali Americans, and specifically of a man that I met who used to work for you politically, back when you were a local politician.He echoed the words of other Somali Americans I have met who said that you have changed since you went to Washington.They told me that you have done nothing for your Minnesotan Congressional District.They told me that they think you are controlled by someone or something else when they hear you make what they consider – inappropriate statements.THEY told me that you do indeed sound bigoted and mean and not someone that they once knew and believed in…As I have noted before, this is the Jewish Season of Deliverance from Slavery; our Passover.And during our Passover, our most important task is to get rid of the Slavery to the Evil Inclinations that have been drummed into our ears since birth – our hubris and our ego that listens to no one else and thereby hurts all those we love.Join us Congresswomen Omar.Join us in freeing yourself from your slavery to the hatreds that were imposed upon you from birth.As always, I would be more than happy to discuss these issues with you or to recommend someone with whom you might feel more comfortable.Be well,Sincerely,George Moshe Murray.This is my 7th letter to my CongresswomanApril 29, 2019Dear Congresswoman Omar,Well, the Jewish Passover season is over, and I feel the need to once more take up the pen to write my Congresswoman.When we told the story of Passover, the words were about escaping from the bondage of Egyptian slavery.However, the deeper meaning of our freedom is to escape from the bondage of our bad impulses; our unpleasant words; of not treating others properly.That is the real slavery from which G-d can deliver us.You appear to be continuing to be caught in unpleasant scenarios which are of your own making.I can only presume that you have a desire to be a good American; that you want to serve your people of our Congressional District in Minnesota; and that you also want to get re-elected to your office in 2020.Last week I wrote you about how your fellow Somali Americans do not think you are doing a good job.I am going to elaborate further on this because – if you lose both the Jewish vote in our District AND the Somali vote is truncated, you will not win reelection.Several months ago, when the boys from Covington High School in Kentucky were viciously slandered and internationally vilified by a black supremacist hate group and a radical Left Wing "American Indian" professional protester - even after the truth came out, they were told that wearing a MAGA cap was a "hate crime" in of itself.At that point, I dusted off my own MAGA cap after putting it away after the election and have been wearing it ever since. (As an Orthodox Jew, I even got a black MAGA cap to wear as my "black hat" while praying.)In traveling across country, I have only had one negative verbal response and that was at Newark airport in New Jersey.But, every so often, someone tells me how much they Like my red MAGA cap.A couple of months ago, I was wearing it at a gas station near the airport, getting a cup of coffee where three Somali American men were talking.I asked them what they thought of Omar.They laughed and said that she should keep her big mouth shut until after she was in Congress for a while - that she shouldn't be talking the way that she is...More interesting was the reaction I got 2 weeks ago.The cashier at a checkout was black and he was chatting with a white coworker as I walked up.As he rang up my order, he said, "I like your hat!"I laughed and said, "Really?"He said yes and his coworker also said he liked it.I told them that maybe only 3 or 4 employees ever told me that and even then, it was softly to make sure they were not overheard.They laughed and told me that if there was anyone else there, they wouldn't have said anything.We talked and I asked the black guy where he was originally from and he said.... "Somalia."I asked him what he thought of you, Ms. Omar, and he said that he used to work for you when you were a local politician here in Minnesota!And that you have completely changed since you went to Washington.He said that you were doing nothing for Minnesota, not even for the Somali Americans who got you elected!He also said that you “should keep your big mouth shut” because nothing you say helps anyone here in your Congressional District!(Incidentally, Congresswoman – I am quoting these Somalis in that they both used the exact same disapprobation when discussing you.)He believes that there is someone else controlling you; that you used to care about your community and Minnesota...I told him that he was right and asked him if he had ever heard of the Justice Democrats.He said no, and I told him, and his coworker, that they should look up “Justice Democrats” so that they might understand better why their Congresswoman is not involved her own Congressional District.Congresswoman Omar,As I wrote, I presume you want to be re-elected to office; I could be wrong.But, your comments; opinions; meetings; and actions in Congress really do have nothing to do with Minnesota's 5th Congressional District and, your constituents know this.They are not going to vote for a Congresswoman who does not represent them and who, at the same time, makes statements that are interpreted as harmful or hateful and are alienating to the people she is supposed to represent in the US Congress.As an additional note, Representative Omar - in the last three weeks, at least one person a day, here in Minnesota, sometimes several people a day, tell me that they like my MAGA cap.It used to be maybe one person every few weeks.I would suggest that you try and find out what Your Constituents need in our District and try and forgo the “Justice Democrat” agenda which is only annoying the people you are supposed to represent.As always, I would be more than happy to discuss these issues with you or, recommend someone who might be more to your liking.Sincerely,George Moshe MurrayMay 7, 2019Dear Congresswoman Omar,On May 5th, you tweeted:“How many more protesters must be shot, rockets must be fired, and little kids must be killed until the endless cycle of violence ends? The status quo of occupation and humanitarian crisis in Gaza is unsustainable. Only real justice can bring about security and lasting peace.”In 2013, the Muslim jihadist terror group Al-Shabaab committed a brutal attack on a Kenyan shopping mall, slaughtering 70 people and wounding 200.In discussing that attack, you said:“Usually most people want to not look internal and see what their actions that make another react. For us, it’s always ‘I must have not done anything. Why is it happening to me?’ Nobody wants to take accountability of how these are byproducts of the actions of our involvement in other people’s affairs.”Congresswoman Omar – it is beyond disturbing that you claim that there is no difference between bloodthirsty terrorists murdering innocent bystanders by randomly firing hundreds of deadly missiles or randomly shooting hundreds of bullets into crowds of people - and those deliberate acts of defense, and even war, directed against an enemy.You are, in effect, claiming that randomly murdering innocents of any nationality; of any religion; of any race; or of any ethnicity, is Excusable if the terrorists feel aggrieved by something that some people did at some time or someplace that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the horror that the sick terrorists try to inflict on innocent men, women, children, babies or even members of one’s own family who happened to be in the way of a terrorist attack!In past letters, I have urged you to try and adopt the American values of Justice and understanding.I do not understand why you believe that you are representing your constituents of your 5th Congressional District, specifically those Americans who sympathize with either our Somali or the Jewish communities, when you excuse this kind inexcusable, blatant; vicious; murderous; terrorism against totally random innocents by blaming either the victims or something that some people did to someone someplace at some time or another!Ms. Omar, to quote Joseph N. Welch from the McCarthy hearings in 1954 - You've done enough…Have you no sense of decency?After all the criticism leveled against you for your callous; terrorist supporting; heart breaking statements, at long last, have you left no sense of decency?I humbly suggest that you spend some time at home talking to your voting age constituents in your Congressional District regarding our concerns with your ill-considered statements.As always, I would be happy to meet with you to discuss these concerns.Sincerely,George Moshe Murray*Note - the following email was NOT sent to Ms. Omar as her Congressional website is not accepting my email at this point. I do not know she shut it down or if I am blocked.I will be sending this snail mail…This is my 9th Letter to my Congresswoman. It’s a bit different as my suggestions to Ms. Omar could be used by anyone – YOU, the reader; me; or anyone.Good luck.Dear Congresswoman Omar,Life is Beautiful All the Time.On May 14th, you commented “… It is designed to silence, sideline, and sort of almost eliminate the public voice of Muslims from public discourse.”I pick this quote out of many possible things you have said that some might find controversial because, I don’t understand what you believe as a Muslim.I have always presumed that the core values and beliefs of Islam are similar to the core values and beliefs of the Torah and Jewish Law.As Jews, we are required to give the “the benefit of the doubt” and to find the good in all people of goodwill. Is this not also true of being a Muslim?One of our great Sages of Blessed Memory, Rabbi Avigdor Miller, talked of how to make your Day Great Again.He talked about how “there are people going around and they’re tense and they’re worried, thinking that they’re being persecuted by their neighbors and their mothers-in-law. They spend time bemused about the injustice that is being done to them. And their lives are wasted away by silly and foolish imaginations.”And he says that these are sane people!Might this not be likened to imaginary fears about a black Somali immigrant Muslim woman who gets elected to the United States Congress – only one of 435 Representatives, out of a population of 328 million – and fears that she is being silenced because she is a Muslim; or black; or a Somali immigrant; or a woman?Rabbi Miller said that we should make our Day Great Again; that we must make each day count; that we must count our blessings each and every day.I can only hope that these tenets are also found in your religion.I can only hope that you can imagine, as Rabbi Miller said – that there is a G-d Who Created the Universe out of Nothing and that therefore, nothing has any intrinsic existence besides G-d.And He Created You as well!And that you; we, are able to express our Gratitude towards G-d for doing this; for the beautiful world He has given us and for the Kindness of our health and well-being.One can even thank G-d for giving you and I a platform where we are able to communicate, respectfully, without grievance, on the things that we care about.I can only hope that Islam also teaches these principles and that you can reflect on Muslim values that might, perhaps, allow you to view This World; your political opponents; those who might be different from you but, especially the Constituents you Represent in our 5th Congressional District, with kindness.And, that you try and understand that no one wants to silence you, but that everyone wants you to embody the good and compassionate principles of Islam that must exist.As always, if you would like to discuss these matters or would like me to help you find someone from out 5th District with whom you could discuss these matters, I would be more than happy to oblige.Be well.Sincerely,George Moshe Murray“O wad some Power the giftie gie usTo see oursels as ithers see us!It wad frae mony a blunder free us,An’ foolish notion:What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,An’ ev’n devotion!”- Robert BurnsFinally - my 10th letter to my Congresswoman:July 16, 2019Dear Congresswoman Omar,It's been over two months since I have written.The fact that you shut down your Email on your Congressional website discouraged me.Also, having received no replies other than the stock generic email response to my last nine letters was also discouraging.However, I really do wish that you could better serve our Minnesota Congressional District 5 by taking into account the concerns of your constituents, rather than focusing mainly on your grievances on the national or international stage.So, I shall continue to try and communicate my concerns.I am mainly concerned about your attitudes; your feelings; and your outlook on life, which have remained remarkedly consistent thus far during your term of Office.Based on your statements; your Congressional appearances; and your avoidance of answering questions posed to you by the press, you appear to have a negative outlook on America; people; and life in general.From trying to confirm the silly statements of AOC's "concentration camps" to condemning American policies around the globe to saying that as a member of one of the most elite bodies in the world, the American Congress, who has access to worldwide media 24/7, 365 days a year. that you feel you are "being silenced" because you are a Muslim, is, and please pardon me for writing this - "anti-American."Life is Beautiful All the Time, Congresswoman.Do you take any joy at all in being a free American holding one of the most powerful positions in American society that a person can hold?Do you take any joy in being an immigrant that America welcomed, succored, and where you became a citizen who pledged:"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure (or renounce) all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."And who then rose to your truly exalted state of joining the American Congressional House of Representatives where you pledged:“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”I have heard your words in and out of Congress and, I have seen you speak in a myriad of different settings.It is truly disturbing that you appear to take such little joy in being an American Congresswoman. It is so disturbing that one might take away the perception that you actually abjure your oaths.I am sure that this is not the case and that, you must, indeed, take some joy in being an American citizen; an American Congresswoman; and a person of such noteworthy power that literally billions of people around the world hear your words and see your actions.I believe that you are Not compelled to denigrate everything and everyone with which you disagree.I believe that it is possible for you to find joy and approbation even in those American principles, or Americans, that you so vehemently condemn.If so, I would highly recommend that in addition to expressing dissatisfaction, you might also offer your Blessings of a Good G-d that those things that you find troublesome might be resolved for good and that those people you find troublesome might be blessed to understand your point of view.Seriously.Joy and blessings are so much more effective than contempt and acid criticism.As always, if you would care to discuss any of these matters with me or, with someone with whom you might find it easier to talk, I would be happy to meet or recommend someone.Be well...George Moshe MurrayAh.... My 11th letter to my Congresswoman. Perhaps my last.(Hat tip to my "archives" courtesy of Denise Garceau)September 6, 2019Dear Congresswoman Omar,Life is Beautiful All the Time.This week’s portion of the Torah, read in Jewish synagogues, begins:“You shall set up judges and law enforcement officials for yourself in all your cities that the Lord, your God, is giving you, for your tribes, and they shall judge the people [with] righteous judgment.”- Deuteronomy 16:18A Torah commentator of the 19th Century, Rabbi Hirsch, notes that "you shall set up... for yourself” is also translated as “You shall appoint.”He goes on to say that this means that if the Judges or Officials that you appointed are corrupt or do wrong, that those that put them into Office are also directly responsible for this corruption or wrong doing.For myself, the simple meaning of this idea is that – if one does not approve of their Congressperson’s actions or words, the voter or constituent should look at their own responsibility in “appointing” that Congressperson.Ms. Omar – therefore, I write these letters.It is incumbent upon the citizens of the United States of America to inform their elected Representatives when they disapprove – or approve – of their Congressperson’s actions.This is the 11th letter/ email that I have written you.I have tried to be polite and encouraging in all my letters even though they do criticize your actions and words.I have tried to question and suggest rather than denigrate or condemn.Yet, I remain bewildered at the things you do and say.There are so many things I could address but, let me ask you the most pertinent question that weighs on me.How… or Why… are you a Muslim?You have expressed many times how you believe that some people want to silence you because you are a Muslim.You have said people denigrate you because you are a Muslim.You have said that people do not like you because you are a Muslim.You have said that Israel banned you from entering their country because you are a Muslim.You have made many, many accusations of discrimination and hate against you – which you think is because that you are a Muslim.As you know, the former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan said: "Omar does not represent me as a Muslim, does not represent millions of Muslims in the middle in the Middle East. You know like in Arab countries we call her the Muslim Brotherhood."There are other Muslims such as Imam Shaikh M. Tawhidi and Dr. Mohamed Zuhdi Jasser who also directly disagree with your grievances that you are discriminated against because you are a Muslim.I am a Torah observant (“Orthodox”) Jew and an American. I certainly do not know the ins and outs of Islam.However, my limited understanding of what being a Muslim means includes some of the same principles of being a Jew that are found in this week’s Torah reading – the next two verses from Shoftim:“You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show favoritism, and you shall not take a bribe, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts just words.Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live and possess the land the Lord, your God, is giving you.”- Deuteronomy 16:19,20Ms. Omar – as your constituent, it is my fondest wish that you attempt to achieve being an observant Muslim who exemplifies the highest aspirations and principles of Islam. I wish for you that you live a life of Salat; Zakat; and all of the righteous principles of Islam that make it one of G-d’s Holy religions.If you could ever bring yourself to live as a Muslim – you would find that not only do not people hate you for being a Muslim but, that people would love you – for being a Muslim.Pursue Justice Congresswoman, not the insignificant affairs of your heart or power.Pursue Justice Congresswoman, and become an American dedicated to Freedom and Liberty for All.As always, if you would care to discuss these issues with myself or someone with whom you would feel more comfortable, I would be happy to do so.Sincerely,Your Voting Constituent,George Moshe MurraySeptember 20, 2019Dear Congresswoman Omar,This will more than likely be my last attempt to reach out to you.Having received not the slightest indication that you have ever read any of my emails; or that you have taken into consideration any ideas from anyone, anywhere, on how to serve your constituents better, I will more than likely now spend my time on supporting those who wish to have a Congressperson that does respond to their needs.Congresswoman,For Jews, we are entering what are called the Days of Awe, which begin with Rosh Hashana, the Day of Judgment.Rambam, Moses Maimonides, the great medieval philosopher and codifier of Jewish law, tells us that:"…it is incumbent upon every person throughout the year to view himself as half innocent and half guilty.So too all of the world should be viewed as half innocent and half guilty.Every individual sin can determine his own - and the world's - fate for guilt and destruction.Conversely, one good deed can place oneself - and the world - on the side of salvation and redemption."(Laws of Repentance 3:4).Our G-d tells us that the conduct of each and every one of us counts.And, that that the deeds of each and every one of us are important to the entire world.Just one of us alone - with our Good Deeds - can sway the scales for many.It is with this in mind, that all mankind should enter the Day of Judgment.And, it is with this in mind, that I have urged you, Congresswoman Omar, to put aside your hatreds and ill learning, to be a better person and, a better American, with the ability to help save This World.Be well Congresswoman.Sincerely,George Moshe Murray

As a member of law enforcement, how often do you have to tell someone that their loved one has died?

Probably more than 60 and fewer than 100. Death notifications are truly one of if not the worst part of the job. I awakened to a reoccurring nightmare of one such call tonight as I do many many nights.I can't tell you how many times I've stood outside darkened porch of some poor family at 3:00 in the morning waiting to ring the doorbell and trying to gather my thoughts on what I will say when they come to the door.I'm always very aware that the people inside are living the last few moments of happiness in their life that they will probably ever truly have. Until you've had to look a mother and father in the eye and tell them that their child was killed and will not be coming home again is one of the most horrific things that a person can be asked to do in the line of duty.Even worse is that we really can't use euphemisms of any kind like they have are no longer with us for example. You must use the word dead or died or killed. Saying passed away or some other kind euphemism often seen in everyday speech just doesn't do the job. The loved ones will not even hear it or comprehend subtlety. For the loved ones in shock you must say “died, dead or killed" simply so their mind can even comprehend the message. This makes it even more difficult because you naturally want to be delicate. In our training we're taught that delicate wording and euphemisms just don't cut through the shock and trauma the loved one is experiencing.Anyway, it's truly a soul-destroying moment for them and to an extent for us. After one child who died in a particularly horrific way, I recall sitting in my squad car for what must have been an hour. I could hear laughter and joy in the living room as I walked up. It's impossible to explain the feelings that I get when my duty requires me to tear someone's soul and put them in pain that will never end. Often I would sit in my car after and just cry. The time I'm speaking of in particular that always comes to mind (and my nightmares several nights a week) a beautiful 8-year-old boy was eaten alive by a pack of feral dogs in a Park. I lied and said he died of a dog bite and went quickly with no pain. A blatant lie but of course every loved one’s first question is “how"? If you ever tell a family member that there has been an unexpected death in the family and they don’t demand to know how and where it’s almost always true that they killed them or knew in advance. Off topic but interesting.Regardless of cause the most common means of death in order of frequency were vehicle accident, medical issue, miscellaneous accident and murder). Seemed like murder made it much worse by the reaction. People are always scared their loved ones will get killed in a collision or drop dead of a heart attack. Murder is time brutally cut short and many times is associated with for lack of a better term, a “worse death”, involving more pain, terror. When they told me my Grandfather dropped dead in a Wiggly Wiggly from a massive heart attack it didn’t haunt me like it would if someone had killed him.You soon learn there is no way to ease their pain and the best method is to be brief, direct, absolute and straightforward…then leave them to their grief. Honestly they don't hear a word you say after “they're dead and how it happened”.People have literally no idea how difficult the job is. If they did people that despise us would be a very infinitesimal minority instead of the enormously popular hobby that it is today. I'm retired and haunted nightly by such things as this topic as well as seeing horrible images in my nightly dreams of things like a young boy totally devoured by dogs like a pack of hyenas eating a gazelle.I know this is off-topic but it is after 4 a.m. as I write this. I awoke to a dream of a time I arrived at a vehicle accident just in time to watch an elderly woman confused and sitting in her car as flames reached her and she burned alive 3 feet from me while making eye contact and screaming in agony. The flames that started in the leaking gas tank ruptured when her son-in-law rear-ended her after he was rear-ended by a drunk and slammed into her car by the force. I broke the window and was 3 seconds from cutting her seat belt and yanking her head-first out the window (the door was inoperable). Then as I reached in to use my seat belt cutter I always carried since my Fire Rescue/Auto Extrication days, it was as if a man with a flame thrower standing in the rear of the car suddenly blasted her, engulfing her body and the front seat in a huge volume of intense flame so hot I was burned on my face and arms standing outside the vehicle. As the flame totally engulfed her she kept gripping the steering wheel and turned to me and gave a haunting scream of intense agony. Her grown son-in-law was standing at my side. Knowing if I had taken the correct on-ramp to I-70 I would have been there just in time to pull her out with no injuries. Ten seconds between life and an agonizing death.An hour later I was at a nearby Fire Station with this man who essentially rear-ended and killed his mother-in-law (not his fault but still) giving him emotional support as he had to call his wife. Imagine explaining to your wife you crashed into her mother and she burned to death as a result of the collision.I ended up taking him to OT Hodges (a local 24-hour diner that Cops, Firemen and Drunks frequent at night to get chili, chili cheese fries, dogs and coffee). We just sat there in silence for what must have been two hours after I was off duty trying to process in our minds what we had just seen. He was barely able to function and I was slightly better because I wasn’t related to the victim we had just watched be cremated alive 36 inches away. I took him to the Adams Mark (a luxury hotel by the Arch downtown) and had a Concierge friend of mine check him into a suite with gratis room service. I made sure department trauma counselors and Red Cross disaster response professionals got over to see him in those first critical hours the next day as well as contacting the Police in his hometown to make sure the wife received help as well. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to get help. I think I thought that it was just part of my job and I needed to “suck it up” and deal with the calls on the job myself (i.e. push those horrors into a dark recess of my mind and ignore them).I could go on and on. Last messages from husbands for their family as they lie bleeding to death in my arms. One time working as a Firefighter on a nearby departments ambulance to accumulate medical experience necessary in Trauma to be qualified as a Paramedic (Granite City Illinois) taking down the last words of a man cut in half by a truck’s rear bumper. He was on a loading dock and would die instantly when the truck was moved which was the only thing keeping his organs from his bladder to his diaphragm from falling out when it backed into him pinching his waist line between the bumper and the dock. Delivering those last words to the wife and children. Talking to a man on a roof and not finding the words that would convince them to not jump followed by the horrible thud sound of a man hitting concrete. Cutting a family out of a car crushed between two semi trucks compacting it to a 5 foot by 5 foot cube, removing the parents and two kids one piece at a time - the biggest chunk the size of a soft ball. The last gasps of breath of a teenager, shot I was holding as he died. The sound of the blood pooling in their lungs as they slip away first looking at me …then off into the distance right through me. You know when people are dying when you have seen it happen a lot. I always tried to keep them calm and kind of, I don’t know how to describe it in a word…be there as they died. I always try to prompt them “do you wan’t me to give a message to anyone” (they don’t always know just how fast they’re circling the drain and often won’t realize that if they have any last words they should be now …kinda thing).Really watching what must have been over a hundred people’s life slip away waiting for an Ambulance after every conceivable way to die from falling off a roof to being shot or hit by a car. Not to mention just the average things that stick in your mind like finding the eyeball of a guy who died after a head shot from a 12-gauge and having to pick it up and bag it. Finding fingers and legs/arms and other parts on the side of the road after motorcycle accidents and having to drive them to the morgue to put with the rest of the body. Being at the morgue as a Detective having to watch a victim be autopsied so I can maintain the chain of evidence and collect the bullets pulled out of them to bring to the ballistics lab for analysis. I luckily didn’t do the Morgue thing often. I wasn’t a Homicide Detective and rarely had business at the Morgue. The place creeped me out. They’re pretty gross. Our was built in the 1920s or something with weird old tiles and greenish fluorescent lights. Picture the Morgue in 7 Deadly Sins with Brad Pitt.I avoided it when possible and was lucky I spent a lot more time as a regular Beat Cop in there than as a Detective. One gross thing people don’t know Cops do is get called to any body that is found. Someone finds an old man that lived alone 3 weeks in a 98 degree room dead. Usually the smell 3 floors away initiates the call. Then the Cop has to sit there. With that body. That decaying, slipping, oozing maggot infested body for hours of just “maintain the scene”. What you’re really doing is just waiting for the Coroner’s guys to get around to coming and collecting the body cause our Detectives are done. So whichever Cops particular Beat that is, he wins the “you’re gonna smell that body in your nose and not eat right for a couple days contest”. Best way to deal with dead body smell is a 3 pronged attack. 1. Vicks UP IN that nose. Not on your lip like on TV. 2. Take coffee grounds, put them in a pan and turn heat on medium. The smell of burned coffee cancels out dead body. 3. Cigars. Smoke em up. Cigar smoke + burning coffee + vicks up in that nose and you can sit and have your bag lunch watching the guys TV with him in the other lazy boy.I read so so much rage and hate for Police here in Quora and it really does hurt and aggravate those open wounds we suffered protecting the very people who live to insult and hate us. People we would give our lives to save.I saved so many more lives as a Cop than I ever did as a Marine, Paramedic and Firefighter combined and am left with the nightmares, mental and physical wounds (spinal cord injury and chronic pain for life) but it is the ingratitude and hate of Americans that is my most horrific wound.Sorry for the rant but it's just where my mind is tonight as I try to center myself and get through the flashbacks as best I can. I know there are bad people in every profession but if just one reader sees this and has just a small moment of empathy and connection with the pain we bear in the emergency services it will be well worth it.At least I’m still alive and coping. I have lost many many friends/co-workers who couldn’t cope. One of my best friends packed up all his belongings in his home and wrote and addressed several letters to family and friends. He took report sheets from work and wrote his own death report for the officer that would get the call for his suicide so all they had to do was sign it. He left us a case of Scotch with the letters to his families as well as belongings he wanted his Detective Squad to have. Things from cash to gun/photographs of sentimental value, etc. He drove his car onto the Poplar Street Bridge over the Mississippi between St. Louis and Illinois. He left his wallet, side arm, badge and ID on the seat of his car with a note giving his address and instructions making identification and the investigation easier for the responding Cop…then jumped off the bridge into the icy swift current of the Mississippi channel in December. In the end all he cared about was the impact it would have on the Cops that caught his case and making it easier for us.He worked as a City Copper for over 30 years and absorbed more poison and trauma than his mind could cope with. He was a wonderful man. He was my friend and I considered a mentor. He left me a note apologizing in his way and warning me to get out when I felt the job was beginning to overwhelm me. It was the final lesson of an old school Cop who made sure his life saving experiences were passed on to a newly minted Patrolman he took under his wing right out of the Academy and guided for years until he couldn't take the suffering the job caused a day longer. He said he lived years longer than he might because he knew the effect his suicide would have on me and some others. I ended up disabled years many years later by a good hit to the back by a man on PCP (or in some kind of extreme diabetic crisis) who was freaking out in bezerker mode in a fight that lasted 15 minutes and ended up injuring my spine. I was forced to retire (because Police are not covered by the Americans with Disability's Act and having a Detective that walks with a limp and a cane can’t be tolerated (I really hated retirement for like 3 years before I learned how to find self imposed structure). This happened long before I experienced more mental horror than I could cope with. To put things in perspective this is a bad night but more often than not I’m good. These things, images, memories and emotions sometimes just hit you. I have a really great family and have been married 30 years (which is why I’m probably not that bad off).Best job I ever had. I miss it everyday. Having worked every job on the other end of the 911 line it was the one where I had the most power to save lives and help people. As a fireman/medic I could only wait for disaster and try to mitigate the harm. As a Cop I could intervene and stop the most evil monsters lurking among us from walking free and preying on the people I swore to defend. I only wish people wouldn’t lump in all 1.3 million of us with the truly tiny percentage that tarnish the badge and disrespect the honor we worked so hard to uphold. For a comparison with another profession…Physicians, MD’s kill over 250,000 Americans each year due to incompetence and professional errors. Police kill fewer than 100. Imagine hating your doctor because you heard that they’re all incompetent and cursing all doctors for the actions of the bad ones. Yet Police are frequently grouped together as malicious and brutal killers and the tiny bad percentage of our profession is no where as lethal as Doctors just as an example. Yet hate and derision for us is literally an American pastime.You would never dream of lumping your Doctor in with the others that kill a quarter of a million (the numbers they maim from malpractice and improper med doses could be in the millions) and number in the tens of thousands if not more in terms of numbers that kill and maim people with incompetence and lack of skill/training. For every Cop that makes a mistake that kills a citizen there are thousands of Doctors that kill…and not just one or two but repeatedly kill hundreds or more in a career, maim thousands and are never punished or lose their credentials. I offer this not as an excuse for the terrible and disgusting behavior of the minority of Police we all see caught on camera, but as a comparison to other professions and how they’re treated as compared to police despite their racking up hundreds of thousands of kills compared to fewer than 100 questionable deaths Police are responsible for. Not making excuses, just comparisons to show the absurdity of the obsession/hate/disrespect for my profession. I have lost 5 friends gunned down in the line of duty. I lost 4 friends as a Firefighter killed in buildings they were in rescuing victims…1 ran out of air or burned to death and 3 at one time, crushed by collapse of walls and floors. I can't begin to count the number maimed and disabled like me. I won’t even address the PTSD, suicides and mental trauma on both the Police and Fire side.Sure, we can all be assholes but who else would sign up for this gig? If you like getting shot at, punched in the face, chase cars through the streets at 100 mph, running to the sound of gunfire against a human tidal wave of people running the other way….you’re gonna probably not be Mr Rogers. The guys I know in Police and Fire are Sheepdogs. Born to protect the herd. A lot of us have some jaged edges and could use some more “how to talk to people” training. Very very few of us are sociopaths of the ilk you see on YouTube. There is a middle ground. You don’t want the same type of person that is a kindergarten teacher patrolling the inner city answering very kinetic, high intensity and often very violence in progress calls that come out every single night in most of America.Thank you for bearing with me on this rambling and emotional answer. I hope it gives some perspective on the real harm and collateral damage the relentless hate directed at us and our noble profession causes. The vast majority of us are good people trying to do a critically important job under impossible conditions made so much worse by hatred and prejudice.*Edit 9/16/20 Since June 1st this year my department alone have had 9 Police shot in the line of duty with 1 dying. 10 shot and 2 dying if you count a retired city Police Captain who was now working for another department who came back to the city to help stop the riots and was murdered by looters at a pawn shop. He was a friend of mine. The last kid killed last week, shot in the forehead leaving 3 kids. Barely on the job a year and was trained by a good friend of mine I went to the Police Academy with. When one of us dies we have family like connections to each other. I feel so bad for Cops today and thank my lucky stars I left with a pension before people stood outside the hospital where two shot Police are in surgery fighting for their lives chanting “WE HOPE YOU DIE”.Crowd gathers outside hospital, chants 'We hope they die' after 2 LA County deputies were shot It was incredibly difficult job. Now it’s actually impossible to do correctly.

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