Black Friday has another meaning this year. November 29, the day four Lakewood police officers were killed south of Tacoma a decade ago, lands on the same day this year as the kick-off of Christmas shopping season.
Of course Black Friday marks the day when retailers’ finances traditionally get “into the black” for the year. This time of remembrance for fallen officers is also a good thing.
I pass several coffee shops and kiosks on the way to my favorite one. Certainly I could save a little time and mileage by stopping at one of those, but going the extra mile is worth it to me.
What makes Blue Steele Coffee Company worth the longer drive? In fact, how do folks know Blue Steele exists? They don’t do much marketing beyond social media postings on Facebook. Thanks to word-of-mouth advertising, they’re known for several things including their coffee, their service, and their history.
They bring me my food and drink. (They don’t make me listen for my order to be called the way fast food places and some coffee shops do.) That’s a big deal to me, especially if I’m meeting someone.
This morning as the sun was rising, snow was falling on the memorial commemorating where four Lakewood police officers were killed. The community still remembers that day that drew the community together, five years ago today.
Heart in the Snow
An early snow is on the ground, and the wind-chill is in the mid-twenties, but business is unusually brisk at Blue Steele Coffee. People make a point of coming here to pay their respects on November 29, remembering that morning in 2009 when four officers paid the ultimate price.
Permanent memorials were dedicated one year later, here and at the Lakewood Police Department’s headquarters. The one outside the coffee shop was built on the corner where the original, makeshift memorial had grown.