Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9.11.13 Heroes of the Day: police, EMS and firemen

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Name: various
Age: various
Occupation: police, EMS and fire personnel
Last Seen: everywhere
Awarded For: keeping us safe every day
Yesterday just before Midnight, the state of Michigan lost one of its finest.

43-year-old Paul Butterfield, a Michigan State Police trooper died at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City after being shot in the head at a traffic stop near Ludington. A native of Bridgeport and an Army veteran, Butterfield was stationed at MSP's post in Hart. Yesterday, he pulled over a truck with a man and woman inside, and the driver shot Butterfield in the head and sped off. Moments later, a passerby found Butterfield on the ground and called 911. He was airlifted to Munson where he died that night. Meanwhile, police found the suspects at the Dublin General Store gas station in Dublin later that evening and they were arrested.

The suspects, 19-year-old Eric and his wife Sarah Knysz were driving down the highway when he was pulled over apparently for having a loud muffler. According to his father, he's missing a .357 Magnum pistol, which might have been used in the shooting. There was an apparent shoot-out between Knysz and Butterfield and Knysz was shot in the knee. He also went to Munson but is now being held for murder. Sarah, on the other hand is also six months pregnant.

Eric Knysz has had a history of run-ins with the law, including breaking and entering as a teen and even assaulting his wife. He also carried a switchblade, which threw him in jail for a year.

Butterfield was a well-loved guy at the MSP, being close friends with fellow officers and crew. He loved animals and was even engaged to be married.

It's quite ironic that Butterfield died almost twelve years to the day of the 9/11 disasters. Osama bin Laden tried to be the main attraction that day, but the truth was that the police, EMS and fire crews were the real heroes, risking life and limb to help others. These people spent days sifting through the dusty remains of the World Trade Center to find bodies, but ended up with only cremation around them. If it weren't for them, more people would have been lost in the disasters at the WTC, the Pentagon and the plane crash in Pennsylvania that would have hit the Capital instead.

Yes, sometimes, people hate it when a cop pulls them over, but that's their job. I've been pulled over for passing on the right, having a loud exhaust and even suspected drunk driving, but thankfully never for speeding. That's a cop's job: to keep us safe. When they leave their car when they pull somebody over, they don't know if they're coming back. The people they pull over might have a gun or might run them over. But that's their job and that's why they're getting paid.

Today, if you're at a fast food place and there's a cop or EMS or fireman in front of you and if you have the money, pay for their meal. They deserve it because they will risk life and limb for you. Paul Butterfield did, and so will the people on duty if needed.

Remember, if we have another 9/11, guess who will be there.  

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