Be thankful for first responders, they risk their lives for you

Photo credit: Rewon Shimray

Whatever political party, religious affiliation or socioeconomic group you identify with, we should all be thankful for first responders.

Last week, a horrifying act of terror was committed in our country that left 59 people dead and more than 500 people injured. The mass shooting in Las Vegas is terrifying and revolting.

Terence, a Roman playwright, wrote in 161 B.C., “I am human, and I think that nothing of that which is human is alien to me.” It is sickening to think that a man could do such a thing to innocent people. It is unnerving to think about what humans are capable of. It is encouraging, however, that we have many more heroes than villains in our society.

First responders in Las Vegas rushed immediately into the gunfire to save and protect as many people as they were able. They stepped up to the task at hand and their courage and bravery saved countless lives. They deserve our gratitude.

Tragedies like this happen all too often, one mass shooting is too many. Thankfully, it does not happen enough that it is likely that these first responders had ever been in a similar situation before. They may have not had extensive training on what to do in a mass shooting situation, but they handled the situation bravely.

This is a divisive time in America and it would be ignorant to address this topic without acknowledging our countries current political climate. Many controversial political statements have been made recently and some target our law enforcement. Not all public servants are good people, some abuse their power and perpetuate oppressive systems. Police brutality is an issue in our nation and we need to recognize that but we must be able to, as a nation, thank and respect first responders who run into dangerous situations to help those in need.

It should not be controversial to respect and honor the first responders that acted courageously in the mouth of trauma and fear.

No matter one’s personal feelings or experiences with law enforcement, we should be able to look past our biases to appreciate our law enforcement and first responders. People are not one-dimensional and generalized praise to an entire group of people is unproductive. However, each and every first responder at the scene of the mass shooting did a brave and admirable thing.

Tragic events such as what unfolded in Las Vegas should unify our country, as we should be able to look past politics and belief systems to mourn the lives lost, praise the lives saved, condemn the shooter and his actions and thank those who saved lives.

While it may be unclear why these things happen or how to prevent them in the future, it is clear who helped in the moment and they should not be lost or forgotten in the chaos.

Yes, they signed up for it. It is their job to protect and serve, and they should be held to that standard, but their sacrifices should not go unnoticed or upraised.