Memorials to the 20th anniversary of 9/11 could be found all across the country last weekend, in towns big and small as people remembered those who answered the call to action on that fateful day, and especially those who did not make it home to their families.
It’s important to honor veterans and first responders. Not because they need the attention — in fact many would probably prefer little or no attention — but because they deserve it. Some may not understand how much the community values their service. Showing our appreciation is the least we can do, and it doesn’t require a large production, although those can be nice as well. Sometimes simple acts of kindness can be just as meaningful.
Much attention is given to those involved in large events, such as 9/11 and even this generational pandemic we find ourselves in. And that is as it should be. But first responders don’t just train for major tragedies such as these. They train for the everyday moments when their services are needed to save lives. Moments like what happened Friday night at Hutchinson High School.
As veterans and first responders were being honored during a ceremony ahead of the Tiger football game against Willmar, a local veteran who was on the sideline was suddenly having a crisis of his own. Thanks to the fast action of HHS athletic trainer Amy Rogotzke, a tragedy was avoided.
The man, who has not yet been identified, became unresponsive. Rogotzke and others leapt into action, lowering him to the ground and initiating CPR. Thanks to this lifesaving intervention, the veteran was revived and is recovering.
There’s no debate: Rogotzke and others saved a life that night, and it’s not the first time this has happened.
A week earlier in Waseca, a football coach collapsed from a heart attack during a game and survived thanks to the quick action of trained emergency responders at the game. As Hutchinson High School’s Twitter account put it, “Athletic trainers save lives at high school events.”
So as we pause to remember and thank those who serve during national tragedies, we should also remember that for every large-scale crisis, there are many more small ones. Emergencies come in all sizes, but they all hopefully share at least one thing in common — dedicated responders working to save lives.
Let’s never forget our community heroes and first responders, and let’s remember to take time to show our gratefulness to all who serve throughout the year. Because they are always on duty, and so our appreciation should always be shown.