As we gather with friends and family to celebrate America’s national day of Thanksgiving today, let’s remember the people who serve and protect us each and every day, the people who make our communities places we cherish.
What they do is generally invisible for most of us — out of sight and out of mind. But let’s just take a few minutes to stop from the hustle and bustle of last-minute preparations or the rush to chase those door-buster deals, to reflect with gratitude on the selfless service and sacrifice of the people who make life as we know and love it possible.
Thank you to the men and women in military service at home and overseas, who are separated from their families on this among many holidays and special life events, who serve with focused dedication to keeping America safe and preserving our freedom and way of life. Thank you to their families for their sacrifice and strength.
Thank you to our police, who do a tough, often thankless, job, day in and day out. They put their lives on the line to protect us from those who would do us harm. Very often, they put themselves at risk to protect us — or rescue us — from our own stupidity and selfish behavior. When there is someone in need in our community, their response is swift, professional and competent.
Thank you to our EMS, who answer our calls for help all day and night, in all kinds of weather, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If you’ve ever had a medical emergency and needed to call an ambulance, you know how fast, professional and caring these folks are. If you haven’t — well, first be grateful, but know you can rest easy because when you do need them, they’ll be there for you. Volunteering their time and talent, they answer thousands of calls every year and save many, many lives. Maybe the next one will be yours or someone you love.
Thank you to our volunteer firefighters. These men and women, like the police and EMS, are professional, competent and ever-ready. They react instinctively to rush into dangerous situations, putting themselves in peril, to save the lives of total strangers. They rush to the scene of horrible crashes to extract victims with the “jaws of life” from a tangled wreckage. Their swift response protects and saves our families, our homes and businesses, our public places. They are always there for us, no matter what.
Thank you to our doctors, nurses and the staff members of our hospitals, who are there for us around the clock, to heal our ills, bind our wounds and cure our diseases. They provide top-notch care for us right here in our community.
Thank you to our teachers and school administrators, who work under increasingly difficult circumstances to educate our children and help prepare the next generation for college, careers and citizenship. Theirs is an awesome responsibility and they undertake it with professionalism, dedication, compassion and — most importantly — love.
Thank you to our civil servants. People like to rag on government workers. But their efforts keep our communities running smoothly and help make the rest of us live comfortable lives. The people who make sure we have clean, pure water to drink, flowing freely from the taps in our homes, schools and offices. The folks who make sure we all have the luxury of pressing a handle flushing our waste away, with no further thought. Be thankful there are people who think about what happens next.
Thank you to the countless volunteers of all walks of life who give up their personal time to serve others and serve their communities in ways far to numerous to list. They volunteer at local hospitals and animal shelter. They run the local blood drive. They serve as Scout leaders, coaches and mentors. They serve the needy by running a soup kitchen or sheltering the homeless. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our community.
All of these folks — whether family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, or total strangers — deserve our thanks and gratitude today and every day.
Thank you for your service, dedication and caring.