I always like to think of May and June as graduation season. This season, unfortunately, has not been as typical as the ones in the past. With the current state of emergency we are facing, everyone has had to alter the way business is conducted. I recently had the opportunity to visit a young man who I admire greatly. Ayzayah Hartfield graduated from Coronado High School and will now further his education by attending the University of Oregon.
The recent and unprecedented shutdown of our city has greatly affected everyone in many different ways. We were all looking forward to attending Ayzayah’s graduation ceremony, and I am estimating there would have been about 250 Metro officers in attendance. Nothing, or no one, can replace his father or ease the pain of not having him around for these special occasions. But each time I have the pleasure of speaking to this young man, I walk away more impressed. I am impressed with his maturity and his ability to hold a conversation with adults. Ayzayah has grown into a young man right before our eyes, and we all take pleasure in knowing this young man.
If you meet Ayzayah’s mother, Veronica, you would understand why he is such an outstanding person. Through the tragedy of losing her husband, Mrs. Hartfield has kept her family together. She has been gracious and has demonstrated levels of class that demonstrate her strength of character.
Few of us can imagine the life-altering events that have transpired for the Hartfield family, but their ability to rise above any and all obstacles placed in their path is remarkable. To allow us to be a part of their family is truly an honor, and I, for one, have learned a lot just being in their presence. We are all so proud of Ayzayah, and I truly believe this young man is a big part of the future of this country. Ayzayah’s sister, Savannah, recently celebrated her 12th birthday, and it was indeed a pleasure to visit and speak with such a young and intellectual person.
We hear the term heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Even though she would not consider herself a hero, Veronica Hartfield, in my opinion, is as heroic as anyone who I have ever met. A true hero is someone who fights through adversity and remains poised with class and dignity. On a personal note, I would like to say thank you to the entire Hartfield family for allowing us to learn from the example that is being set. A wise American once said, “Pain moves us forward, changing us into something else, something we need to be.”