Last summer my sister Mary became a police officer. Observing her courage, dedication, and integrity even in the midst of stressful, sorrowful, and intense situations has greatly increased our family’s appreciation for those who serve in law enforcement and as firefighters, EMTs, and first responders.
But it isn’t just Mary’s commitment that makes us grateful for men and women who serve. There are quiet heroes all around us, working long hours, drinking way too much coffee, and freely putting themselves in harm’s way in order to keep the rest of us safe and secure.
Our local fire department is run entirely by volunteers. Pretty incredible when you think about it. They work as first responders on their “days off” from their other full time jobs.
Today I’d like to express my thankfulness to these hard-working, self-sacrificing individuals who not only do their jobs so well, but also take the time to inspire “future everyday heroes.” Like my sons.
Such as Fireman Mike, who comes out of the firehouse when he sees my Honda Civic in the parking lot (windows down so my boys can gawk at the hook and ladder truck…at least 2 or 3 times a week) and invites us inside to drool over the trucks up close and personal.
And Fireman Scott, who lets us know his duty schedule so my Toddler Bear can come sit in the firetrucks with him any time we want.
And Fireman Tom, who was the first local fireman to let Mark touch a fire truck and watch a fire hose open up full throttle.
And the paramedic at the Saturday fair who knelt down on the ground to talk eye-to-eye with a certain nervous Toddler Bear who was deciding whether or not he wanted to sit in the great big ambulance truck.
And our local fire chief, who gave my sons fireman hats and told them to come visit “any time they want.”
We’re also grateful to the police officer in line at Panera for a coffee recharge, who pulled a “badge sticker” out of his pocket, gave it to our son, and talked to him about the job of being a policeman.
And to the two police officers who live in our neighborhood and park their squad cars on the street every morning: the two of you have no idea how much joy – utter elation – you bring to my two bear cubs when we pass your vehicles on our morning jog. If your vehicles are not there on our jog route my little Mark will say “mommy the police officers are not home, they are at the station helping people!” Once he told the Target checkout employee “the officers are at the station,” (in case she didn’t get the memo).
To all of you who serve our local communities: thank you.
And thank you for taking the time to inspire little boys who get indescribably excited when you put down the window to wave or beep your mighty horn; little boys who pray for you at bedtime, who watch for you on walks and car drives, and talk about you at the dinner table.
To those little boys, you are heroes of the most extraordinary kind.
Happy Friday Y’all!
PS. Aunt Mary, if by chance you read this, just a reminder that your Godson is eagerly awaiting a ride in your police car when we come to South Carolina for Thanksgiving!