S E P T 2 0 1 6 O C T
A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAPLAIN
Milestones: Traditions of Honor by Dan Bateman A t every annual training conference during the opening ceremonies, our organization takes time to recognize, reflect, and honor our fellow FBI National Academy Associate members who have passed away since the previous conference. This time-honored tradition is a solemn highlight to the proceedings and occurs during the many events associated with the opening ceremony This year, I have focused on the theme “Milestones” and the me- morial ceremony is another great milestone in the history of the FBI National Academy Associates. Ironically, this singular great milestone is comprised of many important individual milestones of those who have passed on. We had the honor and privilege of knowing them on our mutual pathway of service. At the St. Louis conference in July, we paused to reflect, hon- or, and remember those colleagues, friends, and associates who have passed away since our last conference in Seattle in 2015. Our National Academy is founded on 81 years of legacy since its first session in 1935. Likewise, our members, who left us in the past year, are milestones in the life of our Association and in the individual lives of our fellow members who were privileged to know them and call them “friend”. As a family of law enforcement, we embrace and honor their memory as well as the family members left behind. They... and we... are sad- dened at our loss but are strengthened in our collective honoring as we paused and remembered them during the Opening Ceremonies. The memorial service itself is vested with honor, tradition, and solemnity as each name is read aloud in the presence of the assembled conferees. With each name, there is a story of friendship, service, fam- ily, and fond memories. As the list is read in order of session number, conference attendees watch closely as their particular session draws near. Then the name of some friend and colleague appears. Memories come alive of the common bond they shared when they attended the
FBI National Academy together and in their respective career paths following graduation. While many know the symbolism and tradition associated with the Memory Table , it does as well to reflect and remember once more. As the Apostle Peter wrote in First Peter, chapter 1, and verse 12 of the Bible’s New Testament: “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them…” 1. The table, covered with a white cloth, symbolizes the loyalty and commitment of our fellow graduates throughout their career of service to their respective communities. 2. An encased and folded American flag is placed on the table to represent the courage and sacrifice of our fellow graduates as they protected our freedom and provided a safe environment for the citizens they served. 3. A single red rose in a vase is placed on the table to symbolize the family and friends of our fellow graduates left behind. 4. A police hat and badge is placed on the table to symbolize the absence of our fellow graduates. 5. A white candle is placed on the table to be lit during the service as a constant reminder that our fellow graduates are not and will not be forgotten. 6. A framed list providing the name, session, and date of death
of each of our fellow graduates is posted on the table as a visible reminder of our fellow graduates and friends who have gone on. This year, we remembered 100 of our FBI National Academy Associates who had passed away since our last conference in Seattle. The Memory Table remained on display throughout the 2016 St. Louis con- ference until our Closing Ceremony so at- tendees could review, reflect, and remember friends ones who had gone on. For those who could not attend, please take moment to review and reflect on the following list of honored individuals.
Peace and blessings, Dan Bateman, Chaplain firstname.lastname@example.org | 586.484.3164
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