I just returned from making rounds at our area hospitals. Once again, as in crisis past, I had the honor of observing the women and men who are right now making us healthy and safe. Many have been standing hurricane watch for more than 35 hours. Many will not see their homes for several more days. They have left behind their houses to the wind and flood. They trust their children to family and friends. To care for the sick and injured they are making great sacrifice. They are heroes.
In the hospitals they are nurses, technicians, housekeeping, administration, kitchen staff, security, physical plant, interns, residents, fellows, secretarial, and attending physicians. They are a part of the larger rescue army that includes police, fire, public service, first responders, road crews, media and our political leaders. Not without fear themselves, hurting to leave their loved ones, they stand the barricades to protect and help us all.
Their sacrifice must be repaid. First, we must take the moment to thank each of them. Make certain they understand that we appreciate their gift. In the days and weeks to come show each our appreciation in a word, a handshake or even an embrace.
More important, we must all recognize that we owe a debt. Their sacrifice must be balanced by our own future acts. Perhaps our skill might not be to bandage a wound, cut down a tree, direct an emergency center, or pump out a flood. However, in time, there will be chance for each of us all to use our ability to balance today’s offering.
If we remember the acts of these wonderful people, and if we give back with our own skills, then our great town, state and nation will continue to be home to a remarkable community. A community of heroes.