The city of Boston and the town of West, Texas, could hardly be more dissimilar. One is a massive metropolitan center, with a combined residential population of more than 7 million, that also serves as the state’s capital, while the other is a rural crossroads of only 2,800 people that, until last week, was easily overlooked on a drive along I-35 between Austin and Dallas.
However, these two communities share one thing in common — the bravery of the first responders who, risking personal safety, rushed to help those in need following tragedies. The events of last week reminded the country of the remarkable courage and professionalism shown by law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency workers, qualities that should be celebrated here as well.
When two bombs exploded nearly simultaneously near the finish line of the Boston Marathon last week, those charged with protecting and serving the public did not hesitate. Rushing into action, the first responders tended to those injured in the blasts, working to stop bleeding, offer comfort and begin the difficult task of securing a massive crime scene.
In the days that followed, these brave men and women would be tested, particularly those employed by area law enforcement agencies. Sean Collier, a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was killed by the bombing suspects, and officers from throughout the Boston metroplex risked their lives to locate and safely arrest the remaining suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on Friday.
A similar demonstration in courage was on display Wednesday in Texas when members of the West Volunteer Fire Department responded to a blaze at the West Fertilizer Co. …
… They … know how being on the job empowers them to help others in need, a calling that many of these officers, firefighters and EMTs describe as being undeniable. They are the front line of the public’s defense and deserve our deep and abiding appreciation for their service.
— Distributed by The Associated Press