The Parting Glass – A Farewell to a Fallen Hero

If you pop into a bar in anywhere USA in the days following a line of duty death, there is good chance you will find a lone glass placed in front of an empty chair; usually accompanied by a short handwritten note. The ‘parting glass’.

The concept of the parting glass has been around since the late 1600’s/early 1700’s. As a family member or loved one was preparing to leave a gathering, they were given one last drink to sustain them for the journey ahead. Similarly, as the law enforcement community mourns a loss, it has become customary to leave our loved ones one last drink before we say goodbye for the last time.

While the lyrics have changed over the centuries and vary depending on the recording artist(s), the significance and symbolism have not.

Oh all the money that e’er I spent
I spent it in good company
And all the harm that e’er I’ve done
Alas, it was to none but me
And all I’ve done for want of wit
To memory now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all
Oh all the comrades that e’er I’ve had
Are sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e’er I’ve had
Would wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and I’ll softly call
Good night and joy be with you all
Good night and joy be with you all

On December 10th, Jersey City Police Detective¬†Joseph Seals¬†was assassinated as he encountered a wanted couple who had allegedly murdered an Uber driver the previous weekend. As details are slowly filtering out and the puzzle pieces are being connected, it is becoming abundantly clear that Detective Seals’ sacrifice that day literally saved hundreds of lives. The murdering couple, self-proclaimed members of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a group well known for their hate of whites, Jews and law enforcement, appear to have been setting up for a murdering spree with targets that included Jewish school children.

As the Jersey City Police Department prepares to officially say goodbye to their brother, there will be many personal eulogies to follow, written by people who knew Joe and who have more eloquent words. Besides, at times like this, there’s not much you CAN say. Nothing undoes the evil.

On behalf of our President/Founder Michael J Burke and the members of Brothers Before Others, we pray that God grant some measure of peace and understanding for the ones that Joe has left behind. The Seals family, the Jersey City Police Department, our profession and Brothers Before Others lost a husband, a father and a brother.

And HIS life mattered.

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