To the Editor:
On the 10-year anniversary of the horrific events that occurred in New York City, Washington, D.C., and in Pennsylvania, firefighters, police officers, first responders and emergency medical caregivers, were honored for their role and sacrifices during the terrorist attacks.
All types of media were filled with references and images of memorial services and solemn events honoring not only those entrusted with public safety, but also the working class Americans who lost their lives traveling, just making ends meet, or taking the steps through their normal routine on that morning.
Many of those events involved the reading of the names of those lost in a touching ceremony of remembrance. The thoughts evoked were overpowering. It was a time of sadness and gloom, but also one of strength and unity.
Throughout the nation, in small towns and large cities, appreciation is found locally for those of us who have chosen occupations to help others and protect people during the daily grind and at times of tragedy or disaster.
The label of "hero" is often given out. For someone to really consider the word of "hero" and attribute it to themselves is an overwhelming thought. It's something that the bulk of firefighters, law enforcement, nurses, EMT's and first responders don't fully embrace.
We didn't consider these jobs for the hero status they might attain, we do these jobs for the pure satisfaction of helping those in need and we are fortunate to be able to make a living and provide for ourselves and our families by doing a job we love, helping others.
We are fortunate that our community is sensible enough to see the value of our service to the public and the focus and time we sacrifice toward our profession.
It is our primary calling.
I've been told that we don't give ourselves enough credit, but in this community, the citizens and businesses show us their appreciation for public safety and give us a great deal of support.
I want to thank Pappy's Bar-B-Que, Cloverleaf Healthcare, French Funeral Home, Bee Ridge Congregational Christian Church, East Side Christian Church, The Brazil Times, The Brazil Elks Lodge, Trinity Baptist Church, Kroger, Michael Bemis Family and all of the organizers of the respectful events honoring the anniversary of 9/11 and the recognition and generosity given to us from the community as a whole.
More importantly, there are the men and women of the American Armed Forces that are overseas and in the states currently serving with a conviction more principled and patriotic than even our government could fathom. Some have even given their all.
Remember their sacrifices, honor them as heroes and hope for those still committed a safe return home.
Thank you on behalf of the members of the Brazil Firefighters Local 1453.
Brazil Firefighters Union Local 1453