DONNA LAMONACO’S HUSBAND PHIL, a New Jersey state trooper, was violently killed in the line of duty. Though her children were devastated over losing their father, Donna was determined that this wouldn’t destroy their faith in humanity. So she involved them in her work on the national memorial fund for families of murdered police officers, taking the children to meetings and media events.
She hoped to help her children direct their emotions in a positive way rather than becoming bitter and angry. Two years later, Donna discovered just how wise her children had grown in the wake of their father’s death.
When another officer was murdered on the job, Donna took her son Michael to pay condolences to the family. Without being asked, Michael put his arm around the victim’s little boy. “You know what, little guy?” he said. “You’re gonna be okay. Look at me. My dad was
a police officer too. I was the same age you are now when he died. And now I’m 11. You just stick by your Mom and it will be okay.”
Adapted from In the Line of Duty: The Service
and Sacrifice of America’s Finest