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We have had a tattered copy of this poem hanging in our store since Daniel Faulkner was murdered in 1981. As far as I can find out the author, Harry Koch, was a member of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Phoenix, Arizona and this poem was written sometime in the 1960s. With the tragic death of Philadelphia police officer Chuck Cassidy I took it home so I could post it here.

A PART OF AMERICA DIED
by Harry Koch

Somebody killed a policeman today
And a part of America died.

A piece of our country he swore to protect,
Will be buried with him at his side.

The beat that he walked was a battlefield, too,
Just as if he had gone off to war.

Though the flag of our nation won't fly at half-mast,
To his name they will add a gold star.

The suspect that shot him will stand up in court,
With counsel demanding his rights ...

While a young, widowed mother must work for her kids
And spend many long, lonely nights.

Yes, somebody killed a policeman today,
Maybe in your town or mine,

While we slept in comfort behind our locked doors,
A cop put his life on the line.

Now his ghost walks the beat on a dark city street,
And he stands at each new rookie's side.

He answered the call . . . of himself he gave his all,
And a part of America died...



There is a second version that moves a couple lines around and changes a phrase at the end
A PART OF AMERICA DIED
by Harry Koch

Somebody killed a policeman today
And a part of America died.

A piece of our country he swore to protect
Will be buried with him at his side.

The suspect that shot him will stand up in court
With counsel demanding his rights,

While a young, widowed mother must work for her kids
And spend many long, lonely nights.

The beat that he walked was a battlefield, too,
Just as if he had gone off to war.

Though the flag of our nation won't fly at half-mast
To his name they will add a gold star.

Yes, somebody killed a policeman today,
It happened in your town or mine,

While we slept in comfort behind our locked doors,
A cop put his life on the line.

Now his ghost walks the beat on a dark city street,
And he stands at each new rookie's side:

He answered the call and gave his all,
And a part of America died...