Seing as my office is about a mile away, I bailed out of work a few minutes early yesterday afternoon and biked up behind the Fox Hills Mall to the entrance of Culver City’s Holy Cross Cemetery on Slauson where inside LAPD Officer Randal Simmons was being laid to rest. Outside, as I’m sure you’ve all seen it was a literal river of black-and-whites, a result of the largest assemblage of law enforcement personnel and transportation that Los Angeles and perhaps the world has ever known.
As I moved in awe among the vehicles, from up on the hill where they had gathered around Simmons’ casket the sound of a solitary trumpet made its way down to my ears. I mean, it’s not like I’ve never heard Taps played, but I choked up realizing that I’d always heard it performed from a distance, either ceremonially or via television or radio. Never before had I heard it played live in honor of someone who had fallen. Never had I been so close to the reality and the sorrow. And while it may not be required I stopped, removed my helmet, bowed my head and placed my hand over my heart and I paid my own personal respects.
At ease, Officer Simmons. Rest in peace.