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Sgt. Richard Mendez Eulogy

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
May 14, 2024 3:02 am

Sgt. Richard Mendez Eulogy

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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May 14, 2024 3:02 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, hear the legacy of a Philadelphia police officer killed in the line of duty - a call to overcome fear and remember what matters most. Here is Mia Mendez - his daughter.

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All you can stream with zoom or play. And we continue with our American stories up next. We have a moving eulogy from Mia Mendez. She memorialized the life of her father, Sergeant Richard Mendez, who was shot four times and killed while trying to stop a car break in in Philadelphia in 2023. He was on the force there for nearly two decades at his funeral. There were a number of speakers. None were more moving than his daughter, Mia.

Let's take a listen. I'm the daughter of Richard Carrera Mendez. He was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico on June 22nd, 1973, or according to my abuela, the 21st of June. My daddy was our family's backbone. In high pressure situations, my mother and I can be a mess, but he was the one that always stayed calm.

The one that told us everything is going to be okay. His favorite phase was always we got this. No matter how tough a situation could be, he was always supporting the people in his life and would always be a shoulder to cry on. He was a wrestler in high school, and when I was a kid, he would always tell me about his wrestling days and would try and teach me his moves. We'd be in the supermarket and I'd be jumping all over him trying to show off the moves he taught me. He met my mother in high school. He was 16 and she was 14.

My daddy used to say it was love at first sight. He'd never stop asking her out, and my mom would always say, I'm not allowed to date. My mom would kill me. My mom's history teacher, Mr. Karbanek, was also my daddy's wrestling coach. He would always poke fun at the two. He would say to my mom, one of my boys likes you. One story that he would always tell me was when he had a match and was 10 pounds over his weight class and needed to lose it by the end of the day.

Coach Karbanek signed him out of all of his classes that day and made fun of him in front of my mom. My daddy finally started dating my mommy after she finished high school. Everyone loved my daddy and everyone especially loved his relationship with my mom.

He treated her like the queen she is. They said their love wasn't complete until I came into the picture. Anyone who knew my dad could tell you how much he loved her and anyone who had the pleasure of seeing their love would be jealous of the relationship they had. I remember from the ages 9 to 13, every year for their anniversary, my dad would get her a bouquet of roses, but every year he would have to double the amount he got the previous year.

It got to the point he had to stop giving her flowers. My dad will always be an amazing man, and we will always have all the memories of all that he's done for our family. My daddy wasn't a regular wrestler. He cared about his education, not just fighting. At my age, he didn't really have as many opportunities to further his education. So growing up, he always emphasized the importance of my education. Without him, I don't know where I would be in my educational career. He would text or call to make sure I got my assignments done, read over all of my essays and calm me down when school got overwhelming. Once again, he would always say, we got this. As an adult, my daddy finally got his chance to get a degree.

He didn't stop at one. In 2014, he received his Associate's of Science in Business Administration. And then two years later in 2016, he received a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration, graduating with Summa Cum Laude. And then a year later in 2017, he received a Master's of Science in Business Administration. The achievement he was most proud of, besides me, of course, was getting those degrees.

My daddy was so proud of them, and so are we. He did this all while being a full time Philadelphia police officer, a full time husband, dad, son, brother and friend. And he always found a way to make time for us. He was truly my superhero. He spent countless nights up until 4 a.m. completing assignments.

He would have his partner at the time, Al Cruz, read over his assignments during slow times with the 25th district. And they had an inside joke that it was Al and my daddy's degree. I would say half that degree is mine. He inspired me to keep working through my education. When he got his master's degree, he would joke and say, just call me master.

If you feel that higher education is something you want to work towards, do it. My daddy would have supported you fully. My daddy was on track to retire on October 15th. It would have been his 23rd year on the force. He had 67 certifications and accommodations. When he retired, he wanted to go back to school, but this time to teach. I cannot think of a better and more qualified teacher than him.

He was qualified to teach MERT. He knew everything about the department. He created countless memos, not that he knew them himself. And you could tell him one thing and he'd never forget. He always said he had the memory of an elephant. He also helped put together so many spreadsheets. He was one of the first officers at the real time crime unit, and he was the first major incident response team officers.

Either place he was, he would have done great, just as he did everywhere he had been before. On Thursday, October 12th, my daddy was murdered in the line of duty. That very night, I asked him, can't you call out sick? I want you to stay home with us tonight. And he said, no, mommy, I can't.

I've racked too many sick hours already. Never in a million years would I have thought that would be the last time I ever saw my daddy. That night was the worst night of my life. My uncle Booker came to our house to take us to Penn Presbyterian Hospital. He drove like a bat out of hell to get us to the hospital to see my daddy. But we were but as we were driving there, over the rainbow started to play and I knew my daddy had left us.

I knew we were too late. My daddy said Uncle Booker to us in a crowd of unfamiliar faces. He was our rock. The rest of the night was such a blur. I can remember seeing my daddy's cold, dead body lying there when less than two hours ago, he was kissing me and my mommy good night. Surviving without my daddy will be difficult for the both of us. But we know we wouldn't he wouldn't want us to give up.

So we won't. Thank you to the Philadelphia Police Department and everyone who has kept us in your prayers. The current state of Philadelphia worries me.

My daddy would always tell me, keep your head on a swivel. Something he seemed to say more and more in the last few months. The past few years, it seems like crime in Philadelphia has been going up as well. People are getting too comfortable committing crimes, knowing that in most cases, nothing will happen to them. I'm scared.

And the situation definitely does not help. The strongest man in my life. My hero, my rock, my daddy was taken from me. From us.

And I'm unbelievably scared. My daddy was an amazing man. He was a kind, loving, patient and humble.

My daddy was looked over. He trained people. He did everything he could to support his family and his fellow officers. And he never complained.

He never envied anybody. He was always there to celebrate everyone's success. He was a good officer, an even better husband and the best daddy in the world. Thank you. What a beautiful, what a sad and what a remarkable story Mia just told these officers that serve and protect us. Seven hundred thousand of them. They go out to serve and protect us.

And sometimes they don't come home. She said, my daddy was taken from me. He was an amazing man. She also noted that he was a good officer, a better husband and the best daddy in the world. That night, I asked him, can't you call in sick?

Never in a million years. Mia said, did I think that that would be the last time I would ever see my daddy? The most heartbreaking part of all, he was on track to retire. He was ready to teach. He was ready to go out and live his life. And it was cut short in a senseless way. Celebrating always here on our American stories, the people who serve and protect us and their families.

Honoring Richard Mendez, his daughter's eulogy here on our American stories. No logins, no signups, no accounts, no hassle. So what are you waiting for? Start streaming at or download from the app and Google Play stores today.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-14 04:30:45 / 2024-05-14 04:35:38 / 5

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