Des Moines, Iowa police officers, Sergeant Anthony Beminio and Officer Justin Martin, were shot ambush style just blocks apart while sitting in their patrol cars.
There was no fight, no altercation, no struggle and no warning.
And now, there is no way to bring them back. No way to return them home to their families.
The entire state was stunned. Things like that just don’t seem to happen in Iowa. I know this, because I’m from Iowa. I was raised in a small town and thankfully grew up in a place that embodied everything it means to be an Iowan.
To help your neighbor. To work hard. To appreciate the little things. To live life a little slower and to give respect where respect is due.
So when I heard of the events of November 2nd from my apartment at school in Alabama, it hit way, way too close to home. I was shocked. I imagined what it must feel like to be the family members and loved ones of those two officers and to have them there with you one day and gone the next. I struggled with how to respond from so far away.
And then, I saw Iowa respond.
My little “flyover state” showed exactly what it means to be an Iowan.
A local donut shop, Hurts Donut Co., sold ‘blue line’ donuts to lines waiting for over an hour to get them and donated 100% of the proceeds to the families. The effort raised over $27,000 in 48 hours. Yeah. That’s Iowa for you.
Churches around the state were opened for prayer services to pray for the fallen officers, their families, their fellow police officers and other public servants.
Local Hy-Vee grocery stores collected donations from community members as well as donated $25,000 to both families.
Residents reached out to officers to show their support in any way they could, as seen in the moving interaction below.
Memorials were erected to honor Beminio and Martin and were filled with letters, photographs, flags, flowers and balloons.
Iowans stood along roadsides, watched from overpasses and parked along the funeral procession route for Sergeant Beminio’s burial to pay their respects, removing their caps and watching silently as a line of police cars from various communities joined the procession as a sign of solidarity.
Flags were raised for the procession to ride under and remained flown at the site of the funeral for officer Beminio. (image via Steffi Lee)
Houses, businesses and the Des Moines Police Station were lit up blue to honor the officers. (image via Steffi Lee)
Businesses announced closure both November 7th and 8th to observe the funerals of both officers.
The Des Moines Police Department then released this moving video to show the community exactly what they are all about.
And over the events of the last five days and the outpouring of respect and support for our men and women in blue, Iowa showed the nation exactly what they are all about, too.
God bless Iowa, God bless America and God bless Officer Martin and Sergeant Beminio.