I had just pulled into the parking lot between Hopkinsville’s Police Department and Fire Department for the 9/11 Memorial Service. No sooner than I parked, I heard and saw a fire truck and an ambulance leave the department with their lights and sirens on.
I couldn’t help but be concerned about what emergency situation they were headed to. And, I couldn’t help but be overcome by the sense of what all those people in New York must have felt on this day 17 years ago. They probably never heard sirens, but there is no question that each of the first responders at the scene were heroes.
I am thankful for those heroes and the heroes that serve and protect us every day. In times like we face today, I am often asked why anyone would want to be a police officer, fireman or other public servant. The only answer I have is that some people run from danger and others run towards it. The latter group are the helpers, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.
I echo a sentiment once written by Mister (Fred) Rogers:
“I was spared from any great disasters when I was little, but there was plenty of news of them in newspapers and on the radio, and there were graphic images of them in newsreels.
For me, as for all children, the world could have come to seem a scary place to live. But I felt secure with my parents, and they let me know that we were safely together whenever I showed concern about accounts of alarming events in the world.
There was something else my mother did that I’ve always remembered: “Always look for the helpers,” she’d tell me. “There’s always someone who is trying to help.” I did, and I came to see that the world is full of doctors and nurses, police and firemen, volunteers, neighbors and friends who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong.”
My wish today is that people would look for helpers, appreciate all they do, and learn to honor them - instead of fearing them, abusing them and disrespecting them and what they stand for. My deepest thanks go out to all the helpers - today and every day.
We will never forget!