The sponsor of the National Junior Honor Society at a private school in Sugar Land was moved by the story of Officer John Daily, who continues to suffer from wounds sustained in a fiery Christmas Eve collision with a suspected drunk driver on Telephone Road.
Tanya Washington listened very carefully to Officer Daily’s father, Owen, as he outlined for the news media his son’s immediate need – prayer.
“When he was asked what the community could do for his son, he didn’t ask for money, just prayer,” Washington told the Badge & Gun. “It touched my family’s heart and I thought about the pillars of the NJHS that the kids have to live up to.”
They include scholarship, leadership, citizenship and character. In the next meeting the 39 members of the group of seventh and eighth graders at the Honor Roll School, which stresses high academic achievement, decided unanimously to “adopt” Officer Daily. They will stress to him their appreciation for his devotion to duty and – especially – write him special notes to remind him that they will never forget his sacrifice and their hopes for his healing.
Washington said the group will provide a barrage of notes to their adopted officer at least once a month. In January it was Get Well Cards and in February it was Valentines (of course).
In March? Well, the March meeting had not been held when Washington was interviewed but you can bet that Daily will have some new decorations for his hospital room.
The honor society members, led by president Lauryn Tu, made sure the officer knew the thoughts behind their actions.
“We heard about the unfortunate car crash you were involved in and the surgeries you have endured,” Tu said in a letter. “We are truly sorry about the accident.”
Then young Ms Tu got to the point:
“We are grateful for everything you have done to keep our community safe. We have enclosed some get well cards to support you on your path to recovery with the hope that they bring you encouragement, joy and smiles. “We’re cheering for you and hopeful that your recovery will go well. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.”
But wait. These are students in Sugar Land. And Daily is a police officer in Houston.
“We are all in a community where there are no Stop signs or red lights,” Washington pointed out. Citizenship, empathy and sympathy stretch across a long way. The students voted unanimously to adopt him. So he’s ours!
“They will show every month that they are thinking of him. They are showing the pillars and creating the empathy and partnership we want to use to move forward in our community.”
Thus, that community is stretching down the Southwest Freeway from Sugar Land to Houston. The group’s plan is to stay in touch with Daily’s father, Owen, to explore the best ways to build up the officer’s morale and, above all, let him know on a regular basis that they will not forget his sacrifices and devotion to duty.
“This guy is family,” Washington said. He protected the community. This accident could have happened in Sugar Land as well.”