Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm Thankful For Our Public Servants

Despite my partiality to public servants (I am the wife of a police officer), I think these men and women, much like teachers and nurses, are far under appreciated, disrespected by many and, yes, underpaid.

I wanted to pay homage to these people on this Thankful Thursday because I took particular note of the services they performed during the half marathon event last weekend.

You can't literally shut a city down, closing major thoroughfares on one of the busiest days of the year in one of the largest summer tourist beaches on the east coast without a LOT of cooperation and collaboration. On top of the typical "last hurrah for the summer" visitors, VA Beach was swarmed with the runners and their friends and families last weekend, making for a boiling pot.

I can assure you, the majority of the fire, rescue and police personnel that were there were working "off-duty". They volunteered to commit to working this event on what would normally be a scheduled day off for them.

I tip my hat to the supervisors of these fine organizations and the city leaders who assuredly put in countless hours of preparation coordinating this event and solidifying my safety and the safety of hundreds of thousands of others.

I have been witness to what it takes to pull an event like this together (Halloween on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill - UNC). Truly, the general public has no idea the effort that is put forth and I'm not convinced that they realize that the lives of these men and women are put on the line each and every day they walk out the door, working their regular shift or an "off-duty gig", so that I can freely come and go about my daily business or run a half marathon knowing they'd be there to catch me if I fell.

I am deeply proud of the service my husband offers to the Town of Chapel Hill and I am sincerely grateful for the Sheriff's Department here in our little town of Pittsboro. And while we're continually asked to say "thank you" to the soldiers we see in the airports or out and about, please don't forget to acknowledge your local law enforcement and fire and rescue workers as well. They are the ones keeping you safe here at home - everyday.

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