Last month I drove to St. Louis for a whirlwind visit with my son Patrick, hosted by my dear friend Joyce Kramer. En route, I noticed a memorial at the side of the road and resolved to visit it on the way back the next day. But as fate would have it, my trip home saw pouring rain. Fatigued and worried about my little fat epileptic dog being alone and worried, I continued past the spot at which I had seen the two flags and the white cross.
Today I drove to Marshall to visit a client who presently resides at Butterfield Youth Services. I noticed the monument again, and made note of its location. I resolved that I would get off the highway and visit the spot, to learn about the person whom it honors. After my client visit and lunch with my sister and brother-in-law in Boonville, I traveled west, carefully keeping track of the weather and the mile-markers.
I got off at exit 49 and continued westward on the outer road to mile-marker 47. I parked my car on the edge of the access road, and trod carefully down the incline to the memorial. I found a black wreath, a white cross, and two flags whipping in the wind. I photographed what I saw, then trudged back to my car and sat for a few minutes, wondering about the man whose life ended at that spot, Trooper Michael L. Newton of the Missouri Highway Patrol.
Take a moment, as you drive through mid-Missouri, to stop and honor Trooper Michael L. Newton, who gave his life in service to the people of the great State of Missouri. At the same time, lift your heart and their memories in gratitude for all those who serve: Military, law enforcement, National Guard; on land, at sea, in the air, and on our roadways and the alleys of our cities.
The news has been filled with troubles between citizens and law enforcement, and justifiable charges laid against those who have done wrong. But I have found, in sixty years of fairly hard living, that the majority of those who serve do so with honor, and valor, and selflessness. I am grateful for their sacrifices. I am especially grateful to those who fall while they serve, and to the families who will not see them again — at least, not in this life.
Read about Trooper Michael L. Newton here.