Locally, at least, “February 1” is a date which will “live in infamy,” to borrow Franklin Roosevelt’s phrase. So what do we say in this space on February 2? I have nothing. The emptiness inside me seems to have robbed me of my voice.
So, to make do, here are some notes from our staff meeting this morning. May you find something useful for your life.
STAFF MEETING NOTES
February 2, 2022
1. We mourn the loss of our friends John Painter and J.J. Jefferson, while also giving thanks for their actions and the actions of so many other law enforcement officers.
2. We are also grateful for the people who first reported the presence of a suspicious person. We will take it to heart that if we see something, we will say something.
3. We acknowledge that people will react differently to this tragedy. Some will be unnerved, and some will carry on easily. We will refrain from making judgments about people’s reactions.
4. We will be cautious, understanding better our own vulnerability. Yesterday’s incident increased the risk of future incidents.
5. We will be tolerant and kind, knowing that grief and fear and anger are simmering in the community. We will be open to our colleagues without being intrusive.
6. We now understand better that Bridgewater is not special because of some magic dome overhead. It is special because we are blessed with good citizens, a smart council, and the hardest-working staff in Virginia. That staff will now get back to work, but we must ever remember points one through five.