First Responders Day
Many people are accustomed to talk about living in Fort Collins being akin to living inside a bubble. It is doubtlessly a different kind of place, and in most respects, very fortunately so. There are an incredible array of activities and amenities available to us, and there is something here for nearly everyone looking for opportunities to improve his or her life. To give this a bit of a philosophical edge, it is eminently possible to flourish in Fort Collins and the first prerequisite of that flourishing is security. We must have a measure of security in order to take even calculated risks, whether that risk is expressed by starting a business or merely going about one’s business.
We take it as given that we may go about our lives against the backdrop of law and order, and the reassurance that if we should be the subject of an emergency, responders will arrive and render professional aid. This is not the state of affairs the whole world over. In many unfortunate places, there is neither the promise of law and order nor is there the presumption of help in exigent circumstances.
We are fortunate to be sure, but there is a downside to our presumptions. That unexamined reliance on a network of people and systems who will step in at a moment’s notice to unburden us of the realities of accidents, altercations, and abominations can breed ingratitude and complacency. One might be inclined to claim that gratitude is unmerited because compensation has been provided for services rendered, but this would be too reductive. There is something human occurring in these exchanges that cannot be monetarily compensated; a debt that can in fact, only be repaid by gratitude.
This is why we thank our service members who return home from having defended our freedom from external threat, the law enforcement personnel who uphold our liberties at home, and the firemen, paramedics, and search and rescue crews who are the first to arrive when things have gone badly awry.
We have an opportunity on October 1st to thank our first responders for the good works they do, to encourage them in that work, and to learn a little about the jobs they do to preserve that level of security without which we could not flourish as we do. We invite you to join with us in thanking our first responders alongside our students as a practical application of our commitment to good citizenship.