Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Sergeant John Samuel Ashley

Metropolitan Police Department, District of Columbia

End of Watch Sunday, May 30, 2004

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Reflections for Sergeant John Samuel Ashley

Who in the world would think that an officer would end his tour of duty while chasing a dog for a little girl. I can only imagine how upset the little girl must've been after losing her grip on her dog. She probably saw this policeman and thought "hey, policemen are supposed to be my friends and help me." I can imagine her going up to Sgt. Ashley and giving him this sad little look while asking him to PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE help her get her dog back. And I can see Sgt. Ashley smiling, nodding at the little girl, and saying "sure thing, honey, I'll get him for you." Surely there were more important things he could've been doing, but he took the time out to help this little girl probably thinking "hey, at least I'm not getting shot at." What a sad sad incident.

I know that scene is playing in my own mind and it may be completely different from what actually occurred that day. But somehow a little girl got his attention and he rendered assistance in her getting her dog back. Neither one of them could've known it would be his last official duty.

Rest in Peace, Sgt. Ashley...God Bless You.

A 911 Dispatcher

August 1, 2004

It has been over a month since you passed, but not a day has gone by that I haven't longed to hear your voice. You were/are such a great man and I am so blessed to have known you. It's amazing how the least little thing sparks a memory of you. You were such an inspiration to me and many others. Thank you John for being yourself. Again, my only comfort in your passing is knowing that I have someone who cares watching over me. To John's family and friends I wish you peace and comfort in the knowledge that he lives on through the many lives that he touched.

Erica Allen

July 5, 2004

To all that you knew John can tell thousands of stories. Stories of laughter, great police work, honor and dedication. To John's family I say, though you have lost a a loved one you have gained many more in the Metropolitan Police Department. We think of you and John as we pin on the badge and do what John did; serving this city proudly and professionally.

Investigator Joe Crespo
Metropolitan Police Department (2D-Detectives's Office)

July 3, 2004

In the stories you told me of your life, and the stories I lived out with you, it is as if your whole entire life could be played to music, to your own particular songs that fit you so well, and that you felt so whole-heartedly. As I read people's messages that they left you, one particular stanza of a poem someone left comes to mind, and I realize how lucky I was to have been with you your last day:

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

Maybe somehow we both knew today would be our last together. And so, I want to play you one last song, one last song that expresses to you what I feel, felt, and will always feel for you:

Don't ask me what you know is true
Don't have to tell you, I love your precious heart.

I, I was standing
You were there, two worlds colliding
And they could never tear us apart

We could live for a thousand years
But if I hurt I'd make wine from your tears
I told you that we could fly
'Cause we all have wings
but some of us don't know why

I, I was standing
You were there
Two worlds colliding, and they could never tear us apart

I (don't ask me why) was standing (you know it's true)
You were there (worlds colliding) two worlds colliding
(we're shining through)
And they could never tear us apart

You (don't ask me why) you were standing (you know it's true)
I was there (worlds colliding) two worlds colliding
(we're shining through)
And they could never tear us apart

I, I was standing, you were there

From the album KICK (1987)

You will always be with me.

Your "significant other"

Erica S. Friedman

June 26, 2004

Warriors have always asked their God for strength, courage and wisdom- particularly in those times we felt most alone.

Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. And while no amount of wisdom can explain this loss, may you be granted strength to rise and courage to walk-on, every day.

The officers of F.O.P. Lodge 35

Martin D. Castellanos, Officer/PO2
Boca Raton Police/US Coast Guard

June 25, 2004



June 19, 2004

You are in my prayers.

Ofc. S.L. Coffman #15174

June 13, 2004

We are truly saddened at John's loss.
We all recall you gave your best.
You did your job, now you can rest.
Your comrades now can cover your post
as you take your place with the Heavenly Host.

God Bless Our Fallen Brothers & Sisters.
Our prayers will be with you, your family, and co-workers!

Ptlm. P.K. Harding
Binghamton (NY) P.D.

June 11, 2004





June 11, 2004

Sgt. Ashley,
I tried to leave a reflection earlier for you but the computer I was using wouldn't send it. My heart breaks for your family & friends for I have also felt that pain of losing a loved on in the line of duty. That little girl will always remember the "policeman who went to get her dog". The last thing you did on this earth was to help a child (doing something many other officers would think were below them in this case); if we all could say that after we died, this world would be a much better place. Your family will be in my prayers.

Survivor of Trooper Calvin E. Taylor E.O.W. 10-3-01

June 8, 2004



June 7, 2004

I stop by this website often after the death of two dear friends with the NCSHP (Troopers Calvin Taylor E.O.W. October 3, 2001 and Anthony Cogdill E.O.W. May 30, 2003).
Unfortunately, I had to add the name of another friend. Deputy Jeffrey Hewitt, Buncombe County (NC) Sheriff’s Department, E.O.W. April 4, 2004.

We all grieve over the lives lost in the line of duty. I hope you can find some comfort knowing that there are countless prayers that go out for your family.

These are senseless tragedies that never seem to stop. God Bless the men and women who continue to serve their communities in our great Nation.

...Gone, but never Forgotten....

Marti Ingle (EMT-Paramedic)
Haywood County EMS (NC)

June 7, 2004

My fiance, Dennis McElderry, was the first law enforcement casualty of 2003. Dennis died doing a job he loved, just as I'm sure John did. It saddens me to know that Dennis was not the first to die in the line of duty, nor will he and John be the last to die this way.

Having gone through the pain of losing Dennis I can truly understand and feel the pain that Sergeant Ashley's family, friends, and co-workers must be feeling. My heart goes out to you all. No one can truly understand the pain of our loss until they've walked in our shoes. I wish I could give you a few words of wisdom to help you through this tough time, but there isn't anything I can really say or do to make the situation better. Just know that my thoughts are with you.

Please accept my condolences on behalf of the McElderry family and remember that John is part of huge law enforcement family. If you ever need anything any number of them will be there for you (as I've quickly found out!) From reading the many reflections posted here, I am certain John was well respected and well loved.

Thank you Sergeant Ashley for a job well done and for helping to make this world a safer place for us all. Please say "hello" to my fiance Dennis for me.

Peace, Love, Luck, and Happiness!

Jocelyne Brar (Winnipeg, MB Canada)
Fiancee of Deputy Sheriff Dennis Ray McElderry, Davis Co. Iowa - EOW (

June 7, 2004

Our deepest sympathy to the family of Sergeant John S. Ashley and the Metropolitan Police Department our hearts and prayers are with you all...... Thank you for a job well done John... rest in peace as you continue your watch from the heavens......your memory will never be forgotten...

God Bless....Be Safe..... and wear your vests...

Vin, Pook and all of us at beyond-the-blue

Vinman and Pooky -Site Owners

June 6, 2004

Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice. You are a true hero. When my husband told me of your death, he was told during role call, he said this is a man after your heart, since I am an animal lover. I hope your family and loved ones find some peace in the pride you had in your job. God Speed to you and yours.

Wife of a Fairfax County Officer

June 6, 2004

Please remember the fallen officers we have lost. Remember the men and women who died trying to make this world a safer and better place for us all to live in. Thank you Sergeant Ashley for a job well done. Please continue to watch over us and protect us as only you can. You will forever be at our side and in our hearts.

For those of you who still have loved ones with us please take the time to tell them how much you appreciate and care about them.


If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,

That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear

Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.

June 6, 2004

You were one of my best friends on the department. I will miss you!

Detective Paul Regan

June 6, 2004

My family would like to send our condolences to all of those who knew & loved Sgt John Ashley. You're in our thoughts & prayers. God bless all of you during this difficult time.

Gail M Pabst
Aunt of fallen Detroit P.O. Jennifer Fettig eow 2-16-04

June 5, 2004

His big heart and devotion to duty showed thru as he tried to get the child's dog....may the angels make his journey peace and happiness.... What an angel for us all

Ofcr B J Heckman-Sauer
Veterans' Affairs Police, Baltimore

June 4, 2004

“Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What a beautiful soul John possessed. I was privileged to have known him for the past 10 months. And blessed to speak with him almost daily during
that time.

To John’s family: What a testimony to you John’s life was. He spoke so highly of all of you. Especially his mom. His love of life, music, plants and dedication to duty, he attributed to you. His life reflects the love that has been shown to him.

He loved his job, it was not a job in the true sense of the word for he lived it. Not once did he ever complain. John was a true gentle giant and will be remembered forever by all of us whose path he crossed.

June 4, 2004

You were the type of guy to give 100% on and off duty. I'll never forget you showing me how to do my very first domestic warrant. You will be sorely missed by the 7D family.

Officer A. Johnson

June 4, 2004

America Lost another hero, Sgt Ashley was doing the job he loved, and was taken from us.Go patrol the streets of heaven brother. To the Family and friends please put your faith in God he will confort you and make the pain bearable.

Sgt. W. M. Riley
Aragon GA Police Dept

June 3, 2004

To the family of Sgt. John Ashley and all our fellow officers in mourning,
We lost a good man on Monday evening but heaven gained one. I know Sgt. Ashley is proud of the fact that he ended his watch with the very men and women he worked with, around him, doing our duty to the fullest, just like he would expect from us. You will be missed but never forgotten Sgt. Ashley.

Officers of the 3rd watch
DC Metropolitan Police 2D

June 2, 2004

When I think of the name John Ashley, I think of family, honor, duty and laughter. It is rare to meet someone so sincere and kind. My friend said yesterday "God hand-picks the good ones and the rest of us just aren't ready yet." I know you are in good hands now John. God Bless You.

Donna Stone

June 2, 2004

My deepest sympathy to the family, friends and co-workers of Sgt. Ashley. May the Lord give you strength and bless each of you during this time.
Rest in peace, Brother, for your watch here is over; walk in heavens beat and guide us all to protect and serve others safely until our final roll call.

RET. Sgt. Walt Beck
Tallahassee Police Dept

June 2, 2004

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