“Back the Blue!”

The signs, the shouts are everywhere when a police officer or firefighter has been hurt or dies protecting us. We want them all to know we support them no matter what the controversy.

And that brings some comfort to their families, partners and friends.

But those signs and shouts have largely disappeared with the controversy surrounding the heavily, underfunded Dallas Police and Fire Pension System.

I’m sure some would prefer it all just go away.  

We look bad. It’s embarrassing It’ll will cost an arm and a leg to make right.

True, but that is what must be done.

We have worked hard to become what the Puritan leader John Winthrop called “a shining city on a hill," but Dallas’ treatment of its retiring defenders in blue has dulled the patina on that city.  

The first priority of any government should be the safety of its citizens, the security of their property.

And yet the men and women who kept their pledge to us years ago to do just that - who ran into the burning buildings, toward the armed gunmen - cannot now depend on the rest of us to do what we pledged and in their retirement come to their defense.

As Mayor Mike Rawlings has said, fixing this will be painful, but something must be done now.

Clearly we know how to dream big - look at the Arts District, the Deck Park, downtown is more vibrant ever.

Surely, the minds responsible for those transformations can be marshaled to repair the fund and make the phrase “Back the Blue” stand for something more than mere words.

You can comment on WFAA's Facebook page.