Recently, the world lost a great leader upon the passing of Queen Elizabeth.
Our nations fought a war hundreds of years ago prompted by the core American belief that we are all created equal — that we as free people should govern ourselves, and not be governed by an unelected monarch.
Despite this difference, for more than 200 years Great Britain has been one of our greatest allies — “Enemies in War, in Peace Friends” as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence.
And of course since that time, the role of the monarch in day to day governance has become minimal, with Britain’s elected Parliament and Prime Minister serving those who elect them.
That said, as long as she has been Queen — over 70 years — Elizabeth was a calm and steady presence for her nation and those of the British Commonwealth that she served.
While the world lost this European leader recently, it’s important to remember the loss of leaders in our Georgia communities as well that work to keep us safe every day.
The men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.
In their actions, they lead by example as protectors and as servants, doing the unfortunately never-ending work of keeping criminals off our streets.
On the same day of the Queen’s death, two sheriff’s deputies were killed as they attempted to take a criminal off the streets near Atlanta. Jonathan Koleski and Marshall Ervin, Jr. left behind wives, children, and families that love them, and leave a grieving community that appreciates their sacrifices.
The world will no doubt tune in to watch as leaders and her family pay their respects at church services and public ceremonies remembering the Queen.
I know that here in Georgia, their law enforcement brothers and sisters and local community will turn out in support of Deputies Koleski and Ervin as their families seek to rebuild their lives in the wake of this tragedy.
It is times like this that I am proud to be a Georgian — not because of this tragic loss, but because I know how Georgians will respond to it.
With prayers, with support, and with love and respect for those that sacrifice every day to keep us safe.
Always remember that should you have questions, comments, or concerns about issues affecting District 159, you can always reach out to me at (404) 656-5052, email, or engage on Facebook.
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Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly, where he serves as the House majority leader.