Local 5th Grader Shares Heartfelt Essay at 146th Annual BPRA Awards Ceremony on Importance of Community Service and the Sound She Loves to Hear When Her Dad, a Police Officer, Returns Home After Work

Local 5th Grader Shares Heartfelt Essay on Importance of Community Service and the Comforting Sound of a Piece of Safety Equipment Designed to Keep Her Dad Safe at 146th Annual Boston Police Relief Association Awards &  Ball Ceremony: Last night, Sunday, April 8, 2018, at the 146th Annual Boston Police Relief Association Ball, 5th grader Zoe Sweeney was invited to share her award-winning essay on the topic of community service and what it means to her. The essay reads as follows:

"My mom asked me to write an essay about what community service means to me. She began explaining to me who was firefighter Michael Kennedy and his story. That’s when I remembered standing on Centre Street watching his funeral procession drive by. At the time I was 6-years-old at St. Theresa’s School. Firefighter Kennedy dedicated his life to community service. I think he was a great role model. I hope I can be just as great of a role model, too. Community Service and service to others means many things to me. It means volunteering in your community and helping the less fortunate. It means being friendly to a new classmate or teammate so they feel welcomed. It means being a good role model for others. For people in public service, it means keeping their community safe, but just as important it means keeping themselves safe. I have been seeing this first hand since I was younger, and I am now really starting to understand what it means. I say this because my dad is a Police Officer in Boston. For years he has been getting ready for work while I am getting ready for bed. He works the over-night shift. Before he left he would come in and give me a kiss goodnight. I would always hear this noise that was loud. It sounded like plastic tearing or ripping. I didn’t like the noise. I would ask my dad what it was and he would say it’s part of my uniform, it keeps me safe. I knew it covered his back and chest, but back then I really didn’t know what it was. Now, that I am older I realize that the noise was my dad putting on his bullet proof vest. The loud noise was the Velcro connecting the sides of the vest together. The noise that I didn’t like when I was younger is now the noise I love to hear when my dad is getting ready for work, but more importantly, I really love that noise when he comes home from work and takes off his vest because I know he is home safe. I know that he has done a small part to keep our community safe. Just like all men and women in public service do every day.”

— Zoe Sweeney, Grade 5