Find time to honor our first responders Friday | PostIndependent.com

Find time to honor our first responders Friday

Kathryn Trauger
Guest column

We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”

— John F. Kennedy

Thank you.

Two little words that can make a world of difference. It is important to find time to thank those that make a difference in our lives. This Friday, the city of Glenwood Springs and the Glenwood Springs Elks Lodge join together to pay tribute and say thanks to those who make a difference in our lives every single day.

The third annual Burgers for Badges thank you celebration takes place Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.

The men and women who have chosen to serve our communities as police officers, firefighters, deputies, paramedics and EMTs put their lives on the line daily to carry out their mission to serve and protect.

Sadly, we were reminded of this fact just over two weeks ago when Douglas County Deputy Zackari Parrish was shot and killed in the early morning hours of New Year’s Eve. Each time an officer is killed in the line of duty, the effect reverberates throughout the law enforcement, as well as the entire first responder, community. These horrific incidents remind those of us with law enforcement officers and first responders in our family to hug them a little tighter and pray a little harder as they walk out the door for work.

As an elected official, I sometimes get to hear about the kindness, generosity and helpfulness of our first responders. Those thank you notes and emails from the public mean so much to our first responders. They can make such a difference after a shift where someone you are arresting kicks, punches and spits on you or threatens your family. Our crummy day at work is nothing like a crummy day for these men and women.

I credit our first responders and communications folks throughout the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys for the fact that we all survived the Grand Avenue Bridge Project. Without Chief Terry Wilson at the corner of Eighth and Grand every day, wearing a different hat and a smile, we wouldn’t have made it! Without the planning, cooperation and teamwork of every first responder and communications personnel in the region, we would not have been able to get critically ill patients or mom’s getting ready to deliver precious babies through the quagmire. I will be forever grateful to those involved.

So, I am asking that if you can possibly get away from your lives and work this Friday, sometime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., please come to the Glenwood Springs Community Center to look into the eyes of those who are there to make our towns and lives safer and simply say, thank you!

If you can’t get away, please find five minutes to write a short note to the officers and first responders that serve your community. Your words and knowing that the citizens of our towns respect and value their service will make all the difference. It is such a small but mighty gesture. Please find the time.

Kathryn Trauger is a Glenwood Springs City Council member and mayor pro-tem.