Released by Gov. Rick Perry
SUNNYVALE – Gov. Rick Perry today gave remarks at the public memorial service for Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia McLelland.
Note: Gov. Perry frequently deviates from prepared text.
The book of Romans tells us:
“Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us, for the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.”
By any measure we’re capable of understanding we shouldn’t be here today.
Mike and Cynthia were too vibrant and too full of life to be gone this quickly.
There are no words that can explain what this community has experienced.
To the family and friends of Mike and Cynthia McLelland, please know that your community stands with you today.
By community, I mean the people of Kaufman County, certainly, but also millions of people across Texas, who, in this tragedy, share your pain in a very real way.
I also mean the extended family of law enforcement officials, from troopers to police chiefs to fellow prosecutors throughout Texas and across our great country.
Those are the people who truly understand the kind of individual who dedicates themselves to a life fighting back against the criminal elements of our society, and the family members who stand by their side.
People don’t take a job like district attorney for financial gain, or for glory, or fame.
But being a district attorney was a lifelong dream of Mike’s.
Going in, he knew it could be a thankless job, with long days and longer nights, with successes that often go unacknowledged, and any setbacks they may experience trumpeted across the front pages.
As a veteran, sacrifice and the pursuit of justice was nothing new to him.
People who choose this line of work do so because they believe in making a difference.
Making a better community, a safer community.
They devote their lives to putting those who deserve it into prison or, when circumstances warrant it, showing mercy and giving wrong-doers a chance to steer their lives back onto the right path.
It’s an art form and a calling, and one of the more difficult ones we can imagine.
I’ve often said a life given to public service is a life well-lived, and Mike and Cynthia gave their all in service to their community.
The two of them shared a calling to help others, particularly with regards to mental health.
Not only was Mike the District Attorney, he also worked for the Department of Family and Protective Services, as well as the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.
And not only was Cynthia a supportive wife, she’d already served as a nurse at Terrell State Hospital.
In recent years, they were both certainly aware of the danger Mike’s profession brought along with it, and the death of assistant DA Mark Hasse three months ago was as heavy on their minds as it was on their hearts.
Still, Mike didn’t turn away from his duties, and didn’t let it diminish his determination to do right by the people of Kaufman County.
If he were here today, I’m sure Mike would be the first to assure us all that we cannot waver in our dedication to the law, and we cannot diminish our resolve to find the evil-doers of society and put them where they can no longer do innocent people harm.
We owe it to Mike and Cynthia’s memory to continue the work he began, and uphold the tradition of public service they personified.
Nothing we can do, or we can say, can take away the suffering of Mike and Cynthia’s family and friends today.
I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that through Mike’s work as a prosecutor, and Cynthia’s unwavering support, others around Kaufman County were doubtlessly spared from the pain you’re feeling.
Please know the thoughts and prayers of millions are with you.
With time, I hope, the pain will ease, leaving nothing but your steadfast pride in the people you knew and loved.