Last week, Vermilion Parish laid to rest one of its own: Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Deputy Allen Bares, Jr.  This Abbeville resident, Cherie LeBlanc, shares her observations.

I have been knowing Cherie and her husband Ryan for several years:  we have done business with them, have friends and family in common, and they help us with the 'jeep jaunt' each year.

The blog starts off with Cherie's doubts about her city:


Since our city's tragedy on Monday, I have heard many negative remarks about Abbeville from people that I have conversed with, and I must claim my own words as well. I, like many others, had an initial reaction of disgust for the parish that I reside in. How could Abbeville demoralize it's dwellers by allowing the city's violence get to this point? Where are our officials, where is our safety? I began to direct my thoughts on this city's self destruction brought on by poverty, drugs and violence; I was ready to take myself and my family out of this city and move to a safer place.

Then on Friday afternoon after the fallen officers funeral brigade, I was in my front yard and noticed my neighbor just returning from work; he is a sheriff deputy. I walked over to him and began to fill him with my thoughts and beliefs and over emphasized feelings. He did not speak with hatred. He never got ruffled with his emotions, he was very calm. Or maybe, he was just sad. He spoke of his "brother" and how every officer was somber and hurt. He told me that their force was a family. Therefore, when they lost one of their own, everyone suffered. In the meantime, another deputy drove into my neighborhood on his daily patrol. He stopped and visited with us in the road. To my amazement, he shared the same emotion as my neighbor. He told me that he does not want "equal justice" towards the killers, he just wants to do his job and that was serving and protecting the citizens of Vermilion Parish. Wow...I began to think.

Within 2 days I have completely changed my WAY of thinking. I realized that I had been overthinking and I was ruining the situation. I, myself, was twisting things around and making everything worse. I live in a town where almost everyone knows my name or my family or has some clue of who I am. I have 2 businesses that are supported by the parish of Vermilion and they provide a beautiful fruitful life for my family. My pharmacy allows me to "charge" my prescriptions because they trust that I will pay them at the end of the month. The receptionist at our school holds my children when they have a fever as they are waiting for me to pick them up. My neighbors know my alarm code at my house and keep a close watch when we are out of town. The doctor at the walk in clinic visited my sick child at my house to check on her the day before a hurricane, just because he cared. Every restaurant owner knows our family by first and last name. Our priest called me the day my dad died "just to talk"; I still have no idea how he found my cell number. You see, this is a town that I want to live in for all the right reasons; it is a town that I want my children to grow up in. We are safe, we are supported, we are loved and we stand strong as ONE. So, here's to you, Abbeville, for giving me everything that I have ever wanted and for allowing me to live within your boundaries. For without YOU, I could never be ME.