9/11 Anniversary Marks Opportunity to Honor First Responders

Renewed calls are going out to proclaim Sept. 25 as National First Responder Appreciation Day.

Steven Jones, executive director of the First Response Coalition (FRC), notes, “Following the tragic events of 9/11, the full magnitude of the contributions and sacrifices made by first responders in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia became apparent to us all. As the nation mourned the loss of so many innocent lives, Americans across the country also praised their local firefighters, police officers and emergency medical professionals as 'hometown heroes.'”

Making Sept. 25 National First Responder Appreciation Day is a “ long overdue” gesture Congress can make to honor first responders for their everyday contributions, sacrifices and dedication to public service, said Jones. His group, FRC, is urging the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead in passing a resolution recognizing Sept. 25 as ‘National First Responder Appreciation Day.’”

Since December 2006, FRC has been lobbying Congress to establish an official day that recognizes first responders for their sacrifices, contributions and dedication to public service.

To date, over 6,000 people have signed the FRC’s online petition calling for a National First Responder Appreciation Day. The American Red Cross, Points of Light Foundation, Salvation Army, Veterans of Foreign Wars and numerous public safety organizations have endorsed the campaign.The petition can be found at http://www.fixtheradios.org/campaign/nfrad_petition.

In June, the U.S. Senate passed an FRC-conceived resolution (S. 215) designating Sept. 25 as National First Responder Appreciation Day. In a bipartisan show of support, over 30 senators, including presidential hopefuls John McCain, R-Ariz., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., cosponsored the resolution.

In July, Rep. Dave Reichert, a former King County, Washington, sheriff, introduced a similar resolution (HR. 592) in the House of Representatives, but house leaders have yet to schedule it for a vote.

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