Whether they are responding to a fire or leaping into action at a car accident, first responders put their lives on the line on a daily basis. Yet despite this selfless dedication to their job, their bravery often goes unrecognized, and one Massachusetts legislator is hoping to change that. Rep. Michael Capuano recently announced plans to introduce a new bill that would create a national holiday for first responders, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Close to home
Capuano was inspired to lead the charge due to recent events in his home state of Massachusetts. Specifically, after seeing the way emergency personnel responded to the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon he felt it necessary to recognize their service. He also decided to lead the charge thanks in large part to a petition launched by Andrew Collier, whose brother Sean – a MIT police officer- was allegedly shot and killed by the suspects. The petition called on Congress to create a day to honor for first responders and has more than 12,500 signature as of Tuesday.
"We've witnessed the bravery and heroism of these men and women time and again – from running into the Twin Towers on 9/11; to heading toward the sound of gunfire in Colorado, Connecticut, and too many other recent tragedies; and facing danger for our protection in every community, every day," Collier wrote.
Recognition on a smaller scale
While there has yet to be a national holiday for first responders, those who leaped into action at the marathon bombing have been honored by communities around the country. One of the most recent events of this kind was hosted by the Navy. Earlier in June, the branch paid tribute to around 400 first responders by giving them a free ride on the USS Constitution, one of the country's most well-known ships.
More than Boston
Although the heroic efforts of the first responders in Boston helped shed a light on the work emergency personnel does on a daily basis, events in the months since have done the same. Most recently, firefighters in Colorado have been working around the clock to battle back flames that have been burning for more than two weeks. According to The Associated Press, the wildfires have caused at least $22 million in damage.