A Toast to First Responders

by Renee on October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy has struck the East Coast from the Carolinas, to the mid-Atlantic up into New York City and Boston, and west into the Great Lakes region of the U.S.–the second such storm to cause concern for me this year. The first was Isaac, which hit New Orleans very soon after Ali arrived at Tulane; we freshman parents didn’t particularly appreciate the timing of that one. Having grown up making trips to the Outer Banks, and Ocean City, Maryland–with recent trips this year to Rehoboth Beach and Cape Cod, it is all very disconcerting for coastline lovers like me.  Someday I’d love to have a house on the beachfront in one of these spots–but these more frequent storms make me a little nervous.

Here on the North Coast, Lake Erie churned up, closing the Shoreway in both directions as waves splashed onto the highway.  Even our little town 35 miles southeast of Cleveland saw a surge on the Chagrin River, normally a peaceful spot for duck-watching and cone-licking. 

As a former news producer and reporter, I have a hard time dragging myself away from the coverage–on the radio, television, Facebook, and Twitter–and I’m always left in awe of those who rush in to face the danger while most of us rush to get out of harm’s way. I’m talking about the first responders–firefighters, local police forces, EMTs, linemen, National Guard and yes, even reporters and photographers who work to spread the news to those of us left wondering what it’s like where our loved ones live.

My father-in-law, Lou DeLuca, was a member of his local fire department for the majority of his life–when he was laid to rest his funeral procession included a firetruck carrying his casket, followed by a parade of men and women in uniform. His widow, my mother-in-law, Rose, still listens to the crackle of the emergency scanner with an ear out for those in her community in trouble, so she can send her heart with those who answer the call.

So today I write to say thank you and raise a glass to those who think of others in danger before themselves. For those who risk their safety and lives for me, my girl, my family, my neighbors and friends–thank you. If you see me at one of our local watering holes, say hello, I’ll buy you a beer. Cheers.


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