Time to honor First Responders

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2003

The rattling of hailstones and the wailing of the tornado warning siren woke many from sleep early Tuesday morning, but there were many more already awake. These men and women were not only up, they were out -- traveling the roads, clearing away storm debris even as it fell, searching for hazards the storm left in its wake.

It is too easy to forget, in the comfort and safety of our homes, shielded from the winds and driving rains, what goes on in the gale, and who goes out into it. The First Responders of Covington County and Andalusia literally risk life and limb as they venture out and rarely receive any kind of recognition for their efforts.

We recognize the role they play as one vital to our community. Although some are paid, working for the law enforcement agencies and such, they cannot possibly be paid enough for what they do. The others, those who volunteer, stand as testimony of one of the factors that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom -- the ability to care about each other, the desire to risk their lives to save others.

When you are sitting in your safe haven on stormy nights and hear the sirens -- tornado, police, fire and ambulance -- remember those who are out there, working for you. As hurricane season builds to its peak, and these brave and selfless responders are called upon time after time, we believe there should be some sort of formal recognition for their efforts, a day honoring them, some way to serve them as they have so often served us.