Tragedy struck has struck in our neighborhood on more than one occasion in dramatic fashion. I recall one incident a few years back when I was rapidly pedaling my bicycle around the corner near my home when blaring sirens and flashing lights of police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances put my mind in a tailspin as the pandemonium converged on my friend’s home. I slowed my bike amidst a gathering crowd and noticed a paramedic to my left take over CPR for a moment and then sweep up my friend’s lifeless infant and carry him into the ambulance, where he was officially pronounced dead. While I did my best to comfort those involved I will be forever grateful to the officers who provided guidance and strength to many stunned onlookers.
A few weeks later I encountered those exact same sirens with different emotions this time. I went outside to shut my garage for the night and noticed my neighbor staggering into my cul-de-sac seriously injured. As I looked at his injuries I felt certain his hand would be amputated. We tended to him as best we could, treating him for shock, as we waited in tense anticipation for the first responders to arrive. At last the wail of sirens and the same rush of vehicles brought relief! Admiration for these men rushed over me as they took command of the scene and properly tended to their patient and others. Then without fanfare or adequate thanks, they again disappeared from the scene with little notice.
This week, the anniversary of 9/11 reminds us not just of the tragedy of that day, but of the courage of the thousands of first responders who ran into danger while others ran away. They were there to provide relief, security, and strength. In light of this I call on none other than Paul Harvey to pay tribute to a Policeman:
“…What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is once the most needed and the most unwanted. He’s a strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “fuzz” to his back
He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won.
But…If the policeman is neat, he’s conceited; if he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s flirting; if not, he’s a grouch.
He must make an instant decision which would require months for a lawyer to make.
But…If he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be first to an accident and infallible with his diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp. Or expect to be sued.
The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being “brutal”. If you hit him, he’s a coward. If he hits you, he’s a bully.
A policeman must know everything-and not tell. He must know where all the sin is and not partake.
A policeman must, from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and the criminal- and tell you where the criminal is hiding.
But…If he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he’s a dunce. If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn’t, he’s a dullard…
The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.
And, of course, he’d have to be genius….For he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary. “
Harvey’s tribute rings true as he gives honor to the officers who thanklessly provide stability in our lives in the face of extreme circumstances. Undoubtedly, all of you who are listening will join me in paying tribute to all our first responders from the police officer who is usually first on the scene to the paramedic and serviceman alike. These recent and near distant scenes are so vivid for me that I have a greater appreciation now for them than ever. As I’ve been contemplating their commitment and sacrifice a thought occurred to me that we are in the midst of another serious crisis—the preservation of our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness and each of you are literally the first responders in this crisis.
With no intention of taking anything away from our first responder’s service, I want to impress upon your minds the importance of being a first responder in the fight for freedom. You see all around us, casualties are mounting that threaten our stability and security. Negative media, political pundits, economists, extremists, posturing politicians, special interests, terrorism, taxes, astronomical debt, dollar devaluation and much more are creating a scene of despair, apathy, and disgust that is too endemic today. While people are fleeing from this scene and standing around looking for leadership, your job is to rush into the turmoil and take charge in the midst of this psychological mayhem. Your job is to tend to the apathetic, the disenfranchised, the outraged, disgusted and defeated and bring the hope of a brighter future. As a leader in this front, FreedomShifters provide direction and strength to a nation in peril. We have great challenges indeed, but the greatest challenge lies in the thinking of the people. The way you and I think and respond to this “would be disaster”, helps the troubled to believe that freedom is not a pipe dream, it’s a priceless gift worth protecting!