(In Tribute to Deputy Scott Ward,
Baldwin County (AL) Sheriff’s Department)
The headlines in today’s local paper juxtaposed the deaths of two men.
One was a famous actor whose passing will be known by millions, and perhaps even mourned. I know nothing about the man, and cannot comment on his life and character.
The other man, Deputy Scott Ward of our local Sheriff’s Department, gave his life yesterday in the line of duty. Far fewer people will hear about Deputy Ward’s sacrifice, or the service he provided for 15 years in local law enforcement (as well as his deployment last year to Afghanistan, where he served with the United States Coast Guard).
In this world, those who do the most of substance and virtue invariably receive the least reward and accolade. The aforementioned actor was likely a millionaire many times over, and his image and persona were loved by multitudes who, like me, knew nothing at all about him in any sense that truly matters. Conversely, Deputy Ward was underpaid, underappreciated, and faithfully did his job day by day until he gave the last full measure of devotion. Those who knew him testify to how well he performed his job, and the genuine concern he held for the public he worked to protect.
Honestly, I could care less about remembering the thespian who passed away yesterday. But I want to remember Scott Ward. I want to think with frequent gratitude about men and women like him, including my son, whose voluntary and sworn duty involves daily putting their life on the line so that average citizens like me can live in safety. Yes, I want to remember Scott Ward, and I want decent people around the world to know who he was and what he did. So I write to you, friends, in full confidence that you will join me in the remembrance of a man whose life and death provided a gift for which we can never fully give thanks. I know also that you will join me in praying for the wife, family and friends he leaves behind.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).