Written By: Suzie O’Grady
Like many little girls, Megan grew up admiring her dad. And like many of their dads, he is her hero. She grew up watching her dad put on his uniform and gun belt and walk out the door to protect our community, and that made her admire him even more. He would speak to her class at school or Girl Scout Troop, and she was always proud to tell her friends that her dad was a policeman. He would often bring trainees to our house for dinner, so she was always around other police officers and developed an incredible fondness for many of them. When she was 5 or 6 years old she began asking to bake brownies or cupcakes for her dad to take to roll call. And when she was a little older she began going to roll call herself to ask her dad’s brothers and sisters in blue to buy Girl Scout cookies. Of course they couldn’t resist her sweet freckled face and bought cookies by the dozen.
Fast forward a few years and the events in Ferguson and the growing anti-police sentiment began to sweep across the country. These attacks were attacks on all who wear the uniform, including Megan’s dad. Only now she was a teenager about to enter high school, and old enough to be aware of what was going on. Then came the tragic attack on law enforcement officers in Dallas in July 2016. As parents we tried to shelter her from what was going on, but she was aware. And she was shaken. How could someone doing something so savage? What about their families? What about their kids? These were all questions that Megan asked. We felt hopeless because we didn’t have any answers. Around that time she had to write an essay for school titled “This I Believe”. Megan wrote about her dad and police officers everywhere. She wrote about their families and how they just want their dad, their hero, to come home every night.
A few months passed and Megan could not get the events of July 2016 off her mind. She felt compelled to do something for the children and families of fallen heroes, which led to the creation of Blue Line Bears. What began as a simple idea to create a lasting memento for the children of fallen officers has turned into this labor of love that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Megan, along with help from her Grandma, her dad and her mother, have made nearly 300 personalized bears out of uniform shirts from Law Enforcement agencies across the country and even one in Canada. Each story is different, but what connects them all is what drew Megan to this mission to begin with…. the admiration and appreciation for these heroes who selflessly put their lives on the line for others and sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice.