As he performed his duty he put his own life on the line in the protection of his community and paid the highest price. Full Police honours were given. His funeral was broadcast by a national television station. Along with his colleagues thousands of mourners attended his funeral to pay their respect.
As I watched the live broadcast he was described as a first class police officer, a first class detective, workmate, Father, Husband, Son, Brother and friend. Damian was hard working and honest. He worked to make the community a safer place for us all. He wanted the drug dealers off the street. Damian was also described as a hero to the nation.
When men and women join the police force it is so that they can make a difference in society. To instigate good for others in the community, the job brings long work hours, stress, the possibility of injuries and even death.
How are ordinary Australians to think and feel when an evil act of shooting another person prevails over good? From the various comments that I have heard in the community, there is anger, disbelief and fear, particularly among mothers.
But rising above the negative was the positive. I was particularly moved by the public outpouring of love by way of letters, flowers, donations and money for Damian's family and for the wider police family. I witnessed a community of people that came together in support and compassion for others, where people gave of themselves in an outpouring of love, choosing to be a little kinder toward each other, by demonstrating respect and considering the welfare of others.
I believe that a stronger, more united and more closely knit community will rise above this and future crimes. When one is hurting it demonstrates true love to still have compassion and regard for others. Damian's wife Sonya did this as she made the decision to have his life support turned off and to donate Damian's organs for the benefit of others.
In the bible in John 15:13 it is written that "Greater love has no one than this than he lay down his life for his friends." In considering the welfare of others, Damian did this. That is a challenge to me and for all of us as we go about our daily lives in love, doing good and respecting others. Love conquers evil and lives forever.
My own value is not based upon my intelligence, my work or social status, my appearance, my wealth or lack of it, or in how other people perceive me and think about me. It is based upon the gift of life that God has given me. He says in Genesis 1:27 that we are all made in His image, which reveals that our life is definitely not cheap but of immense value to God.