|By Captain Doug Mellinger|
|April 11, 2020|
As I sit here late into the night finally enjoying a meal with my wife and relaxing with my family, I reflect on what I saw in these past two very busy days bringing the Easter Bunny and hopefully joy to our community. I’m sure all of the public safety workers and municipal workers who volunteered to bring some light and celebration to our communities will echo these sentiments.
Every single one of us is just as scared as the rest of the community. We are worried about what we come into contact with that may harm us. We are trying to protect our families and loved ones just the same as everyone else. We understand we are at a greater risk, and our community is understanding that, too. Although the thing we are fighting is not what we’re used to because we can’t see it, we will still get up at a moments notice and fight it. It is what we do, something ingrained in us that makes us want to come to the aid of anyone who needs us.
Except this time it’s not a fire that a firefighter can simply put out, or someone the police can catch and stop from harming you, or a cut that EMS can simply bandage. Every one of you is in this fight with us. We will win together.
We saw families happy and smiling being together. Little children trying but enjoyably failing to curb their excitement. Those without children were still enjoying the greeting, smiling and waving, understanding this was our act to help them as well. There were many signs thanking us, telling us we are heroes. Many people applauding us. We also saw tears. Tears on a mother with her two young children, I think in understanding the attempt we were making to allow her a break from the fear. A semblance of normalcy. Some were tears of graciousness. I know mine were. While we were doing this to help you, you were helping us. We love what we do, and we could not do it without the support of this wonderful community and the people in it. You may not realize how much we need these events, too.
Every one of us and every one of you are the heroes. We will stand in front of you and lead the charge, protecting you as we always have. Our love, dedication, and duty to our community will not let us do anything else. Behind our charge will be every one of you in our community. You will be in this fight as well. Because of this, WE thank YOU!