EDITORIAL/John Martin, trooper, hero

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Mississippi is a better place because of MHP trooper John Martin Harris.

And likely more importantly to John Martin, Mississippi is without question a safer place because of his service, Gov. Tate Reeves said at his funeral service in Madison on Tuesday. We all realize John Martin’s service and commitment now.

John Martin, as he was called back home in the Delta, has won the victory over death through Christ, so we weep not for him but for ourselves — as even Christ, fully human and fully God — wept over the death of his friend Lazareth.

“We must take this tragedy as a stark reminder of how fragile life on Earth can be....and of the dangers and sacrifices our law enforcement officers face each day,” Reeves said.

 “We must hold his family close....his mom, his dad, wife and children....and we must also hold all of his brothers and sisters in blue close as well!”

Hundreds of law enforcement officers and first responders processed with the family from the church to the cemetery on Tuesday as John Martin was laid to rest. 

Hundreds of regular Mississippians lined the streets of Madison and Ridgeland to pay their final respects.

Individuals got out of their automobiles along I-55 and U.S. 51 and stood hand over heart in a massive show of compassion and respect, not only for John Martin’s family but for all of law enforcement.

As a small boy, John Martin would say he wanted to be a policeman, his father said, and that continued into his teens, his first job and finally three years ago realizing his ultimate dream of becoming a state trooper.

Hours before John Martin died he was in the gym sharing photos of an ecstasy bust he’d made the day before with fellow law enforcement officers.

“He was that class clown, life-of-the-party type of guy,” said Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker. “He was the loudest voice and biggest smile. He could drive you absolutely crazy and turn around and make you absolutely proud of him. I’ve never been so mad and so happy at a person in a 24-hour period. That’s just the kind of guy he was.”

We will forever honor John Martin’s sacrifice in the line of duty, as Gov. Reeves said, for keeping us safe, just as we honor every single man and woman who swears the same oath and faces the same dangers to protect us from the bad guys. Well done, John Martin.





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