. To Serve and Protect Of all the events that fill the history of quiet, little–known Uvalde town, there cannot be a greater tragedy than that which gave it sudden world–renown. The dreadful act, so horribly malign, extends the sickening flow of children’s blood that drenched both Sandy Hook and Columbine— now immemorial the nightmarish flood. Uvalde is unique in one respect— a sobering peculiarity to ponder: an “active shooter” many could detect, but till too late not one “active responder.” Police issued an explanation clear: the situation being awfully hot, the officers felt reasonable fear; they all were thinking Maybe I’ll be shot! (One wonders, by compare, what was the thought or speech as troops advanced on Normandy? But that was eighty years ago. We’re taught these days to see such things quite differently.) Stay safe! each officer must have advised himself. Thank God my kids are not in there. Have we heroics’ worth downwards revised, has Am I safe? replaced the heart to dare? . . Julian D. Woodruff, who contributes poetry frequently to the Society of Classical Poets, writes poetry and short fiction for children and adults. He recently finished 2020-2021, a poetry collection. A selection of his work can be read at Parody Poetry, Lighten Up Online, Carmina Magazine, and Reedsy.