'Rest assured that your death has meaning.'

The following are the comments made by Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane at Sgt. Ian Loughran's funeral service Wednesday:

"I begin with a quote from Arthur Ashe who once said, "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." Though he didn't know it at the time, Arthur Ashe was describing the life of Sgt. Ian Adam Loughran.

"There are critics who believe that, to be a hero, there needs to be drama; that one should die in a gun battle with an assailant or burn in a building trying to rescue a child. Truly these are courageous acts, and the victims are truly heroes. There was not this remarkable drama in Ian's death, but there was purpose.

"I maintain that the situations and circumstance in which Ian found himself during his career protecting you and me eventually took his life. It was the stress of that motor vehicle stop in the middle of the night on a less-traveled road with no backup that took his life. It was those high-speed pursuits, the damaged children of abuse, the victims of domestic violence, the ugly side of Harford County's mean streets that took his life. It was those collisions and body parts, people he tried to save, the death of fellow deputies and police officers that took his life. It was time away from his family and those he loved, working nights, weekends and holidays, missing those special events and family gatherings that took his life.

"One only had to follow Ian to know why this profession is so hazardous to our health; why some of us suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome; why we have high suicide and divorce rates; why we die untimely deaths because our bodies have difficulty handling the stress.

"Let us look for meaning in Ian's death. Unless we know the grand plan, we will never know why he died. But for those who are leaders of the law enforcement and corrections community, and for those we are sworn to protect, we can do a better job addressing the issues that take their toll on those who form that thin blue line that saves us and our society from those who would do us harm.

"I would not do him justice if I did not talk about Ian Loughran, the man. First and foremost, he loved his family; he adored his wife, Tonya, and his little boy, Colin. There are others who will follow me that will extol his virtues, so I will not steal their thunder. But I will tell you as his sheriff and his fellow co-worker, that Ian Adam Loughran was one of the finest men to wear the star. He was compassionate, intelligent and had a way with people in crisis. He could be that calming force in a storm and he was a mentor to many, both young and old. I never knew him to raise his voice, and I never knew him to be angry. He was thorough in his work, and dedicated to the Harford County Sheriff's Office and the good people of Harford County. He was a deputy's deputy. And he was destined for greater things.

"Ian now belongs to Harford County. History will judge him as a man who gave his all in service to his fellow man. His sacrifice has etched his place in the building blocks that mark our past and will strengthen our future. His death shall not be in vain.

"In trying to process Ian's death, I remembered a prayer once given by President Franklin Roosevelt in a very similar circumstance to what we are witnessing today. It gave me some comfort and some peace and I would like to share that prayer with you.

"It goes as follows..."For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will along all Thy people. They yearn for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy Kingdom."

"God's speed, Ian Loughran. Rest assured that your death has meaning. And, rest in peace knowing that you are ours forever.

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