Don’t forget the unsung heroes around us

Published 2:51 am Wednesday, December 20, 2006

By Staff
Following the publication of my story about the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Stone Lake Park in Cassopolis, I was reminded I left out someone who may have been the most important person there, well maybe after Santa.
I failed to mention Cassopolis Police Chief Frank Williams was on hand, as he is every year, making sure the children and adults who attend the Christmas tree lighting are able to cross the road safely to Stone Lake.
Williams and his officers made sure the vehicles slowed down and Santa and Mrs. Claus and all those in attendance could gather, sing and disperse without any trouble.
Too often, our police, firefighters, ambulance personnel and others are forgotten, seeming to blend into the woodwork, until tragedy strikes. There have been a rash of incidents which have called on these men and women to help out.
Recently a group of individuals have been busy robbing stores in the area. Their actions have been escalating to the point someone may be hurt or killed. Store clerks have been threatened and money stolen.
The sheriff's officers and police in our communities could also easily become victims in one of these robbery attempts.
Fires too have destroyed homes and apartments at this time of the year when we should be celebrating and admiring the Christmas decorations, instead of sifting through ashes.
Every time our firefighters go into a burning building to save lives and property, they are putting their own lives at risk.
The historic building in Edwardsburg on U.S.-12, which was destroyed this past weekend, kept firefighters from the surrounding communities busy far into the cold night. On Tuesday, many returned to U.S.-12 and Tharp Road to the scene of a gas line rupture that killed a lineman from Midwest Energy.
All our workers from the power companies also risk their lives to keep our electricity running. When it is bitter cold they are out repairing downed lines. We have these men and women to thank for keeping us safe and warm.
A veteran Edwardsburg bus driver, Sue Johnson, averted what could have been a tremendous tragedy last week when she kept her bus from tipping over after being hit by a car which apparently went through a stop light. Those 50 or so children on the bus could have been seriously hurt or even killed, if it hadn't been for her driving skills.
These bus drivers excel in the annual bus rodeo. That may be fun and games, but everyday they take their jobs very seriously.
While I am thinking of those who are often forgotten, the scanner keeps going off in the background, sending help to the young woman who took a drug overdose, to the older man who is having trouble breathing and needs assistance, to someone trapped in the overturned vehicle in Niles.
From the dispatchers to those who roll up in a vehicle with flashing lights, the process is like a well oiled machine. We count the seconds until help comes. Too often we don't think much about those in uniform whose job it is to keep us safe.
There are many unsung heroes in our midst.
Our doctors and nurses come to mind easily but there are also others whose jobs keep the world running.
My friend used to drive a gasoline truck and I have heard his stories of breathing fumes and his fear that he would be in an accident. When we go to the pump to fill up our main concern is just how much is the gas per gallon today.
Every time I use the restroom at the Cassopolis Municipal Building – which is unisex, by the way – I am so impressed at how clean it is. I don't know who does the cleaning, but I am appreciative of their care.
Tonight I will go to my mailbox and expect to find some Christmas cards. If it had been sleeting, or an ice storm or other terrible weather condition, the mail would still be there.
Look around you. Unsung heroes are everywhere, from the grocery clerk, which I was for six years, to the people working here at the paper who help you find your lost dog.
They are all doing their job to help your world stay the same.