To the Point for 9-7-06


DOES IT SEEM POSSIBLE that it has been five years since the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.? This Monday will mark that anniversary; and although it has been five years, it is also an occasion that no one should ever forget – and no one should ever take for granted.

This newspaper salutes the members of the Patriot Volunteer Fire Department for its efforts to remember those who lost their lives that day; and also for those brave men and women who served in an emergency capacity to ensure that there weren’t more casualties.

As a society we often take for granted the men and women who work to protect us, and if the tragedy of September 11th, 2001 has taught us anything, at the forefront should be the knowledge that we live in safety and freedom because men and women choose to risk their own safety and freedom to guarantee ours.

Members of law enforcement, from local police to county officers to state policemen and conservation officers all work to keep our society safe. It seems like it would be an impossible job, and it is; but they still go out there on a daily basis and tell us that they are going to do everything in their power to make sure that we will be safe.

What do they get for their trouble? Most of the time it’s a series of insults from a drunk driver; or his or her family, all of whom believe that our society’s laws should pertain to everyone but them. “I am the exception” seems to be the norm in the minds of most people.

I remember when law enforcement officers were the targets of slang terms and derogatory names from members of a society that were under the umbrella of those that the police protected. Maybe some of those terms are still out there, but after 9-11, everyone should add the term “hero” as well.

I’ve always heard that you can find a firefighter at the scene of an emergency very easily – when everyone else is running away from the emergency, firefighters are the ones running toward it.

That happened on the morning of September 11th, 2001; and it continues to this very day, no matter whose home it is. The astonishing thing about firefighters is that the vast majority of them are volunteers – all of them here in Switzerland County are. In Indiana, very few fire companies have paid firefighters. Nearly all of our towns and small cities rely on the training and bravery of men and women who volunteer their time and resources to help protect your home.

In some cases, the equipment that they use is something that they purchased themselves; and all of those new fire trucks and emergency equipment come from the work at chili suppers and dances and bingo and other benefits,

If there’s one group of people you don’t want to see walking up to your front door, it’s the members of the Switzerland County EMS.

It’s not because Robbie Meek and his troops aren’t friendly; but it’s because when they are at your home, you’re in some sort of trouble.

I’m not a person who can watch a bloody movie, so I cannot imagine the training and the stress that these brave people go through trying to preserve life.

Don’t forget that this is a small community; so most of the time when EMS workers walk to a door or arrive at the scene of an accident; they know personally the person that they are helping.

It’s a person in trouble, but it’s also a friend or neighbor or relative. Somehow these brave people put all of that aside because they have a larger purpose; and that’s to help save and protect people from greater injury.

We can’t do anything about the events of September 11th, 2001, with the exception of pledging to never forget what happened that day; but we also need to remember the men and women right here in Switzerland County who are on the job each and every day making our lives safer and healthier and better.

To each of them, I say “thanks” on behalf of a grateful community.