Letter: Thanks for saluting Sergeant Steil


I attended the funeral of Detroit Police Department Sgt. Kenneth Steil, an emotional day for any officer.

After the funeral, there was a 23-mile drive to the interment at the cemetery. That drive was so humbling for me. For 23 miles, I watched as people stood by the road to show respect: People of all ages; people of all races; people of all walks of life.

It was as if, for that 23-mile drive, everyone took a pause from life.

I saw people saluting, holding their hand over their heart, waving flags, and if I made eye contact, often received a whisper of “thank you,” or “I am sorry.”

I passed two schools, and the number of kids standing by the road or in their classrooms looking out the windows at St. Clair Shores Lakeview and Fraser Middle School was simply amazing. I waved to one student on the second floor at Lakeview, and he quickly waved back. I saw restaurant employees, car salesmen, mechanics, nurses, tow truck drivers and people from all walks of life, stop, and take notice. I sobbed, and one woman who noticed also sobbed. I saw veterans, whom I feel deserve my salute, lining the road saluting us, and our fallen hero.

I have seen the ugliest side of society, but on the day Sgt. Steil was laid to rest, I saw the good side.

Thanks to each and every Michiganian who paid your respect along those 23 miles. I am sure that it was as heart felt by Sgt. Steil’s family, as it was for every officer out there.

Edward Cheshe, Detroit police officer