Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to Los Alamos

An open letter to Los Alamos
By Chaplains Jeff Eichorst and Jennifer Bartram

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who planned and contributed to Corporal Alfred Roybal’s funeral.

To work with people as dedicated as police officers has always been counted a blessing; one that most in the public never realize until they directly receive the benefit of protection or comfort that comes from their presence.

On Thursday, we publicly witnessed the manifestation of honor, sacrifice, esteem, and dedication that a unique, and often underappreciated, group of men and women bestow on one of their own and to their family. The demonstration was in the way of full police honors for Alfred who died during the early morning of Aug. 9.

The fellowship that is shared throughout law enforcement, brought police officers from Española, Santa Fe, New Mexico State Police, Taos, Rio Rancho, Albuquerque, and Bernalillo County to pay their last respects with an Honor Guard providing a 21-gun salute, Taps, the Last Call and bagpipes playing Amazing Grace. In the spirit of the camaraderie of first responders, the Los Alamos Fire Department was also joined by Española Fire Department to also pay tribute to Alfred and his family with the suspension of a huge American flag between two ladder trucks at the entrance to the cemetery.

And, not so publically, the officers of Los Alamos Police Department responded immediately to the family in Española and Angel Fire. More impressively, and unlike anything we have witnessed, the officers also selflessly stood guard over Alfred, nonstop, from the day of his death until he arrived at his final resting place.

There is no greater privilege that we can think of than to be able to volunteer with such a dedicated group of men and women that understand sacrifice, integrity, and honor. As a community, we should count ourselves blessed to have such a group that above all, there is an incredible care for people, want to help and understanding of the importance of family better than most, as we have in our Los Alamos Police and Fire departments – not to the exclusion of our neighboring communities.

Thank you, to our wonderful friends at Ruby K’s Bagel Cafe, El Parasol, Decolores, Sopaipilla Factory, Smith’s, LAPD Administration, Municipal Court, LAPD Records, Mike and Diane Young, Northern New Mexico College, Holy Cross Church, Knights of Columbus in Arroyo Seco, and many treasured friends and family for their generous donations of food and specialized services.

And thank you Los Alamos and neighbors for your wonderful generosity as we get closer to our goal of financial support for the family.


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