Honoring and remembering heroes

September 19, 2009 9:43:25 PM PDT
A Philadelphia community came together tonight to honor police officers who put their lives on the line. They also paused to remember two teenagers who wanted to join their ranks, but never got the chance. The focus was on the positive at Enon Tabernacle Church in West Oak Lane where police officers were honored for serving the community.

No officer was taken for granted at this first ever ceremony, instead they were thanked for the often thankless work they do.

"Our police officers do a good job and as much as we holler when we're upset, we need to holler when we appreciate, as well," Reverend Alyn Waller said.

Among those in attendance were Police Explorers, would be cops, but missing were two teenagers who were gunned down in what's said to be a case of mistaken identity.

18-year-old Dominique Smith was shot and killed along with 15-year-old Harvey Lewis last April, but their murders haven't deterred the explorers from wanting to be cops just like fellow explorer Harvey Lewis aspired to be.

"It inspired me more because I want to do it for Harvey," Bernard Crawford said.

"I want to live on his legacy, what he said, he wants to help his mom, help everyone, protect the streets of Philadelphia, that's what I want to do," Harry Smith said.

Harvey's stepfather Earl Walker says if Harvey were here he'd have one message for Philadelphia's gun toting teens.

"I think he would say, give it up, give all the guns up and stop the violence," Walker said.

Those who attended the ceremony can only hope and pray the mounting violence in Philadelphia ends soon before other incent victims die; that's why they are applauding those who are making a difference.