Patriot Day, an event designated for Americans to remember the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is observed in various ways. Moments of silence are held. Memorials to the approximately 3,000 people who were murdered and prayers for the hundreds of thousands of others who were directly affected, are scheduled. But one of the most gratifying developments of these ceremonies has been the ones in which the public recognizes and expresses its appreciation for the men and women who stand prepared to respond to crisis situations our law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

Fortunately, very few of the scenes to which they are summoned are as horrendous as, say, Ground Zero where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center stood in New York City. But every situation to which they are called presents a large number of unknown factors that often require them to put their own lives in jeopardy.

Training and preparation allow these professional heroes to minimize those hazards, but the national news routinely and sadly offers accounts of firefighters killed or injured trying to save lives and property, and of law enforcement officers harmed while serving their communities. It happened in Odessa this past weekend.

Sept. 11 is a day of remembrance for many reasons. These public servants need to be at the top of our list.

Brownwood Bulletin