Des Moines and Urbandale Ambush Attacks

Des Moines and Urbandale Ambush Attacks

Blue Lives Matters

Today….today my heart aches. As the violence against police officers has been going on nationwide, I never could imagined it happening so close to home. Never could I have imagined hearing of the murder of an Iowa police officer, let alone two of them.

I cannot describe the things racing through my mind. What happened to Iowa nice? Aren’t we just one big small town community that supports each other? As I read the stories, follow what’s going on, my mind cannot wrap around the fact that someone ambushed two brave men who put on a uniform to keep us and our families safe….I am filled with anger. I am filled with anger, and I am filled with pure confusion.

Officer Justin Martin and Sgt. Anthony Beminio fell Wednesday morning while serving their community. According to Channel 13 News out of Des Moines, it was an ambush style attack. Both officers were found dead in their patrol cars. Beminio had been with the Des Moines police department since 2005, eleven years of service. Martin was hired on last year to the Urbandale Police Department. Fred Jones, Martins faculty advisor, describes him as “a kind, gentle, and compassionate man”.

As I watched the news coverage this morning, and I will include the story below, I couldn’t help but shed a few tears as Sgt. Paul Parizek held back tears while answering questions from the press. Anthony Beminio was a Morningside student. He walked the same campus that I do each and every day. He attended the same classes, ate in the same cafeteria, and lived in the same building as I do. Anthony later transferred to another United Methodist affiliated school, Simpson College in Indianola. Justin Martin graduated from Simpson College in 2015.

Morningside College today gathered together to sign a statement of support for our own local Sioux City Police Department. We will continue to offer the opportunity to sign until the end of the week. And I had no hesitation when signing my name. The men and women in a police uniform take the risk every single day to put on that uniform and risk not coming home to their families. Something that the families of Justin and Anthony have had to face as a reality.

My heart goes out to the families, and the forces of Des Moines and Urbandale. I cannot imagine what you are going through right now. Not only as a fellow student and Iowan, but as a United Methodist. And as Bishop Laurie Haller of the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church said in a statement released Wednesday evening:

“Let us pray. Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord. Hear our voice. We wait for you, O God. Our souls wait for you. Give us now your word of hope. We know your love is steadfast, always there when we need it. Comfort the families of those who have died. Protect, strengthen, and uphold our law enforcement officers. Help all of us to remember that your love is bigger and stronger than despair and destruction. Guide and strengthen us to reach out to those affected in ways that will bring healing. Give them and us a sense of your peace and hope.”

Let us all pray for not only the Des Moines and Urbandale Police Departments, but police departments around the country.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Cover Image Credit: Diary of a Mad Dispatcher

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?


Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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