For all the bizarre displays of grief our society participates in (look no further than the deaths of Princess Diana and John Kennedy Jr. as examples) the city of Everett and its people should be proud of the way they have responded to the tragic death of Everett police officer Brian M. DiBucci and grateful for the resolution and healing that has followed.
July 15 marks one year since DiBucci fell over the Hewitt Avenue trestle in the early morning hours while attempting to cover fellow officers who had just stopped the driver of a stolen car.
The community’s response then was immediate and sincere. People called the police department to offer condolences and praise and even called or wrote The Herald with kind stories about DiBucci’s work. On the day of the funeral at Everett Memorial Stadium, hundreds of onlookers lined the streets of downtown Everett to pay their final respects and watch the police processional and riderless horse.
Since then, Everett officers have been working through the grieving process and honoring DiBucci’s memory and service through awards within the department and at the state and national levels, too, said Deputy Chief Terry Miller. It’s taken nearly a year to accomplish all that, but it has played a part in helping people heal, he said.
The department is handling the first anniversary of DiBucci’s death tactfully and with respect.
"This department is never really going to forget," Miller said, referring to both DiBucci and that awful day.
"Everybody is touched differently," he added. "(July 15) is a day for reflection. It’s more of a personal thing."
Fortunately, for DiBucci’s family, friends and co-workers, there was fairly swift legal resolution. In November, just four months after the tragedy, the driver of the stolen car pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to more than four years in prison.
While we are blessed to have some resolution and opportunity for healing, we should not overlook or minimize the anniversary of his death. Yet, there’s no need for dramatic display. We should follow the Everett Police Department’s example and offer up a personal moment of silence and remembrance as the perfect tribute to a fallen hero.