On September 3, 2016, Ludlow Youth Football took time from their game schedule to honor our heroes in blue. This moving tribute not only acknowledged the sacrifice of our officers but that of their loved ones; the ones who send them out the door knowing the dangers that exist.

Teams who battle on the field came together in this show of unity. Ludlow players stood arm in arm watching over as the cheerleaders stood together, center field, to release balloons while the following emotional tribute was read:

The game of football can leave our players black and blue. While on the field, helmets and pads are provided to ensure the highest level of safety. Off the field, however, we are often not afforded the same level of protection.

Fortunately, there are heroes that exist outside of this arena who wear a different kind of uniform. They are the brave men and women of our local law enforcement agencies.

With great pride, we can stand here today and say that some of these officers once played for, or participated in, Ludlow Youth Football activities. They are, and forever will be, part of the Panther family.

Our police officers once took an oath to protect and serve this community. Every day they risk their lives so that we enjoy the freedoms we have. Frequently, the jobs these officers are asked to perform is thankless and met with intense scrutiny.

If you watch or read the news, you’re likely aware that we live in a world where police work is arguably more challenging than at any other time in history. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we show support for our partners in law enforcement.

To the officers here with us today, we understand the risk you take to protect us and we thank you. To the husbands, wives, and children of the officers here today, we understand the sacrifices you make so that your loved ones can keep us safe and we thank you as well.

In a few moments, we will release balloons as a symbolic gesture to honor the dedicated officers who suit up every day to keep our players, cheerleaders, coaches, and their family members safe while away from the field. Please join us in showing our gratitude to the courageous men and women, both past and present, as well as those no longer with us, who have served as members of our local law enforcement agencies.

Thank you!!!