Strasburg family participates in Blue Light Week
In honor of fallen police officers, residents in many homes nationwide are replacing their standard porch bulbs with blue-hued ones as a part of a new Facebook event.
The event, dubbed “Blue Light Week,” started Thursday and runs through Wednesday.
The Blue Light Week event pag — http://tiny.cc/yjeyrx — has seen over 115,000 (and counting) families, officers and supporters join from all over the world.
One local family participating in the event is the Peacemaker family of Strasburg.
Seth Peacemaker has been a deputy patrolman for the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office for the past three years.
He and his wife Emily decided to join the movement after she first heard about the event.
“I got a request sent to me from a friend,” Emily Peacemaker said. “We have a friend that is with the Sheriff’s Office as well … and his wife invited me.”
Seth Peacemaker joined the Sheriff’s Office shortly after coming home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The movement carries a lot of meaning for the couple.
Emily Peacemaker noted, “It’s a peaceful way to show support” for both active duty police officers as well as for fallen officers.
She said she has been around the police for almost her entire life. Her father is Bill Collins, a patrol officer for the Strasburg Police Department.
“Growing up, I didn’t think too much of it,” she said. “It was just his job.”
However, she said that as she grew older, she came to realize the inherent danger of the job. “There were times where I would worry, ‘Is my dad going to come home?'”
For Seth Peacemaker, Blue Light Week is partially about brotherhood.
He joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2011, after coming home from a tour of duty as a military policeman in Afghanistan.
“In the army, everyone knows that you’re a brother because everybody has ‘U.S. Army’ on their uniform,” he said.
He is a reservist for the U.S. Army and sees Blue Light Week as an opportunity to “bring law enforcement together.”
“Some of the guys I work with now, I had never met them before,” he said, adding, “I would do anything in the world for them.”
He said that this sort of family atmosphere is similar to the brotherhood he experienced with the soldiers in his unit in Afghanistan.
“[This week] is showing, not only for other officers and their families to show support, but also anyone else who believes that … what we do is a good thing,” he added.
Emily Peacemaker said that, even today, she still worries about the realities of law enforcement.
“We’ve got three kids and we have been married for almost five years and I know that he would die for somebody,” she said. “You never know, if somebody knocks on your door late at night, if they are coming to tell you that your husband died saving someone else.”
At the same time, she aid that the notion can be a good feeling to know that policemen are out there to protect the public.
“That’s another thing with the blue light. [We are] letting people know, ‘He’s here to protect you, not to do harm,” she said.
She said they will probably be leaving their blue light up longer than the scheduled Facebook event.
“Someone mentioned leaving it up for 126 days, for all of the officers that died in 2014,” she said.
Showing support for law enforcement, she said, is “what it comes down to in the end.”
Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org