Sitting in a wrenching trial the past two days has me appreciating the work of a segment of the population that does get its thanks, but hasn't officially gotten one from me.
There are unfortunately thankless jobs all over the world where people toil away for the benefit of others and are wrongly classified or just overlooked by all.
But the people I'm talking about are sometimes memorialized when they die, celebrated when they're alive, and called heroes in their turn. They receive thanks because they're spending their lives in the posture of service.
If these duties of the individuals I'm speaking about were part of a thankless job, surely they wouldn't put themselves through what weighs on me now after only hours as an observer.
But there aren't enough thank yous in the world for what some of you people do. And there are a few branches in the field who do the really dirty, gruesome and sad things that would scar me forever. And they do these things every day.
Someone has to show up after a fatal vehicle accident and take control of chaos. The weight on this person is heavy. She has to without an inch of error, reconstruct the scene so that in the future her expert opinion won't falter in court where she is seated facing a grieving mother. Thank you, Sergeant Hillman.
In an incident where a person has died, someone is going to be assigned to handle this person, to take photos of this person, to sometimes take this person away in a body bag before family and friends.
Patrick Moore has been the coroner in this county for more than 20 years. Thank you, Mr. Moore.
Someone is assigned the task of delivering the worst news of a person's life right to his or her face. Thank you, officers.
Someone's job is to attempt to resuscitate a child, and due to circumstances beyond his or her control, fail. Thank you, first responders.
Someone will make another person's tragedy his or her world until a case tight enough to achieve justice is built from terrifying photos, chilling testimony and cruel facts. Thank you, prosecutors.
Thank you to the techs, the clerks, the dispatchers, police, medical examiners, the jail crews, trained responders, firefighters, caseworkers, prosecutors, lawyers, counselors, doctors, judges, jurors and everyone else who will go to work every day to bear witness to the stuff of nightmares.
Someone has to do it.