The heinous murder of Officer Robert Wilson III is another jarring reminder of what is at stake when a man or woman puts on a badge and takes an oath to protect and serve the rest of us.

In the context of recent protests of alleged police misconduct in places like Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., Officer Wilson's sacrifice takes on even greater significance.

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey alluded to those incidents in praising Officer Wilson, who was fatally shot while stopping an attempted robbery Thursday in North Philadelphia. Ramsey asked for prayers for Wilson's two young sons, ages 9 and 1.

The officer is the city's 10th killed in the line of duty in nine years. In mourning them, we understand that they were just doing their job, but it's a job too often taken for granted.