A child leads by example

Published 11:11 am Friday, May 27, 2016

Civic organizations will often be the ones to make a concerted effort in recognizing an individual worth honoring or a group of people dedicated to a notable cause. For example, most recently the Holland Athletic Association in neighboring Suffolk hosted a baseball tournament.

What made it unique was the remembrance of the late Virginia State Trooper Chad Phillip Dermyer. Behind this memorial was, of all people, a 9-year-old boy.

J.P. Hopko, who plays for the Western Tidewater Rage, apparently decided to find a way to let people know about Dermyer, who was killed in the line of duty. During a training exercise in Richmond on March 31, the trooper was inexplicably shot by a man at a bus station.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the boy’s connection to this trooper comes from the fact that his father is Joe Hopko, a deputy for the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office.

As the officer told The Tidewater News a few days ago, “My son J.P. knows and understands what law enforcement families go through in times and that’s because he lives the life of law enforcement. J.P. just wanted to help educate his teammates and their families and friends and everybody that law enforcement is here to help, not hurt.”

We wish that that more children were taught that lesson and took it to heart as closely as J.P. has done.

The deed speaks well not only of the boy and his family, but also those teammates who supported the cause.

A fitting end to the day was the team’s victory in the championship.