"You are the proud child of a policeman," a Hong Kong police officer's wife told her child to be strong and always have faith in love, at a time when police and their families in the city have been the target of abuse and bullying amid the recent turmoil caused by violent protests in Hong Kong.
In a letter to her child, the mother expressed understanding and support of policemen like her husband, who have faced great physical strain working day and night and tremendous mental stress, but still do their utmost to maintain public order and protect Hong Kong residents.
The letter was read in front of hundreds of thousands of local residents who participated in a rally Saturday afternoon to support the police and call for an end to violence.
The following is the full content of the letter.
A letter to my child
In these tumultuous times in Hong Kong, only your innocent laughter can give me a brief moment of calm and peace.
That afternoon, when you called me, crying in fear because you saw from the apartment window protesters in black passing by in the street down below, I remember telling you not to be afraid because you would be safe inside the house. What I did not tell you then was that your father's colleagues who lived in the same disciplinary forces living quarters with their families had experienced worse moments of terror. The other night, when they were on duty, the windows of their apartments were smashed and the elderly people and young children who were at home at that time huddled together and cried throughout the night. As a matter of fact, my child, many people in Hong Kong have been crying because they were afraid or sad. As I have been teaching you all along, never indulge in self-pity. Of course, there is nothing wrong to cry occasionally. But you always have to pick yourself up quickly, wipe you tears dry and live your life.
Soon it will be time to go back to school. You may or may not know there have been many hateful messages on social media lately, threatening police officers' families with harm and even death. Yes, you know your father is a police officer and that’s a fact that won’t change. Faced with curses, threats and violence, the last thing you need is fear, because being afraid isn’t going to help. No one knows for sure whether we will be harmed or you will be bullied at school. But your father and I will always protect you as best as we can. After reading you bed time stories recently, I always added a few words of my own and I knew you understood what I meant, more or less. I said, when we are faced with difficulties, we must be stronger than usual, so that we know how to protect ourselves from the bullies who are targeting us. More important, always keep in mind that we have done nothing wrong.
If you ask me whether it is possible for your father to quit his police job, my answer is maybe. But he loves this job and we must never ask him to quit the job he loves. He has been working flat out day and night recently. Physically he is able to handle the strain. The toughest challenge is the tremendous mental stress he has to bear. I know your dad has not forgotten the reason why he chose to be a policeman. That reason is to maintain public order and protect Hong Kong citizens. Right now the Hong Kong Police Force needs able hands more than ever and we must support him as best as we can, because your father will never leave the HKPF, as we will never turn our backs on him.
If you ask me whether I can leave Hong Kong, my answer is again maybe. That’s because Hong Kong is the city we love and we hate leaving our home behind. My hope is to stay in Hong Kong with my family and fellow Hong Kong citizens to do our best for Hong Kong in overcoming the challenges for as long as needed. While living our own lives to the best of our abilities we should always think about what we can do to help our community no matter how insignificant our efforts may be. At least we can say that we have tried our utmost.
My child, you have a long journey ahead of you and I hope you will always have faith in love. People may say it is crazy to talk about love when unwarranted hatred rages. But our world would become extremely dangerous if we forget love and let ourselves be blinded by hate instead. We would lose our common sense and the ability to seek unity in diversity if we did. Once love is forgotten it won't be long before happiness is, too.
Don't believe for a minute the journey ahead will be easy. When you read this letter again some years later you will understand it better. Whenever you feel depressed, remember you are not just the proud child of a policeman, you also need to work hard to be an upright person. Your dad and I will always be there to safeguard you and Hong Kong.