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  1. #1
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    Default Honoring Those Who Risk Their Lives on the Homefront-Why Don't We?

    Is it just me, or should there be a national holiday for police, firefighters, Coast Guard, and others who risk their lives for us daily here at home? We have not one but TWO holidays for those who have served in the military (Veterans' Day to honor living veterans and memorial Day to remember those who have died). Why do we not honor police, firefighters, etc. similarly? They risk (and often give) their lives to save ours daily across the country and we do nothing nationally to honor them. I wonder why that is...and why there is no large movement to create a national holiday for them. Sure we have labor day to honor workers but it doesn't seem like enough for these people. I know there has been talk about making September 11 a day of remembrance, but that doesn't seem to quite be right either as it would be geared more toward memorializing a specific group of people, including some NYPD/FDNY but not all LE/firefighters etc. nationwide.

    What say the masses?


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  2. #2
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    Well, in light of the Christmas eve killing of the 2 firefighters and 2 more seriously wounded in Webster, NY, I think you've raised an excellent idea.

    I lived in Webster and Northern Penfield (just below Webster) for the 16 yrs before I bought the farm here in Mendon so I'm very close to the tragedy that happened there. When I first heard it on the radio my thoughts went immediately to an ex-coworker whose husband was a previous fire chief in Webster and is probably still with the force.
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!



  3. #3
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    International Firefighter's Day is May 4th. - not observed in the US, yet

    Peace Officer's Day is May 15th. -flags should be flown at half mast for all the fallen police officers

    Police Week is the Week that May 15th falls in

    There is a National EMS week in May - last years was May 20-26.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    International Firefighter's Day is May 4th. - not observed in the US, yet

    Peace Officer's Day is May 15th. -flags should be flown at half mast for all the fallen police officers

    Police Week is the Week that May 15th falls in

    There is a National EMS week in May - last years was May 20-26.

    I think she means a nationally recognized holiday.

    I also think they should be paid more, here the county deputies make so little that they are eligible for food stamps and other forms of government assistance. The firefighters and EMS isn't much better. I'm not saying they should get 100K but a liveable wage for the risk they face everyday isn't all that unreasonable. The county can afford it as well, between the multi billion dollar business headquartered here, the major universities and other Fortune 500 companies with large distribution centers located here.



  5. #5
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    I'd definitely second this motion--especially because so many of these first-responders are volunteers who do it pro bono. They are no less brave, and suffer scarcely less trauma than the military veterans we've honored forever.

    It's way past time we started emphasizing the positive in American life! Maybe this can be the year we start. It starts with each and every one of US!



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmedHope View Post
    I think she means a nationally recognized holiday.

    I also think they should be paid more, here the county deputies make so little that they are eligible for food stamps and other forms of government assistance. The firefighters and EMS isn't much better. I'm not saying they should get 100K but a liveable wage for the risk they face everyday isn't all that unreasonable. The county can afford it as well, between the multi billion dollar business headquartered here, the major universities and other Fortune 500 companies with large distribution centers located here.
    International Fire fighter's day is the only one that is not a national holiday.

    Now, are you asking for a bank holiday? Where the banks get the day off? I'm not quite sure how that would honor those in these particular service industries since they won't get the day off.

    As far as salaries go, that is dependent on the local government and how much people want to pay in taxes to fund the local police, fire fighters and some EMS.



  7. #7
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    Yes, I meant a bank holiday. No, unfortunately, they could not all get the day off. Soldiers don't get Veteran's Day off either, but we still honor them. The ones who died don't get a holiday either, but we celebrate their memory. If we can have two holidays for soldiers, why isn't there one for these people. They risk their lives every bit as much and get far less thanks for it. Veterans get benefits for life and are first in line for some jobs (not saying any of that is wrong). Police and firefighters don't get any of that, and police are often hated, usually for no reason, by the very citizens they are protecting. Seems like the least we could do is have a holiday to honor them, throw parades in their honor, something like that.



  8. #8
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    Coast Guard, whether everyone forgets it or not, is covered by Memorial/Veterans Day. They're not EMTs with power boats. (Ever watched the national concert from DC? There's a reason they include "Semper Paratus" in the melody of military-branch songs, even though they're not DoD.)


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
    Yes, I meant a bank holiday. No, unfortunately, they could not all get the day off. Soldiers don't get Veteran's Day off either, but we still honor them. The ones who died don't get a holiday either, but we celebrate their memory. If we can have two holidays for soldiers, why isn't there one for these people. They risk their lives every bit as much and get far less thanks for it. Veterans get benefits for life and are first in line for some jobs (not saying any of that is wrong). Police and firefighters don't get any of that, and police are often hated, usually for no reason, by the very citizens they are protecting. Seems like the least we could do is have a holiday to honor them, throw parades in their honor, something like that.
    Not all Veterans get benefits for life. Generally unless you put in your 20 years and retire honorably or have a service connected disability, there are limited benefits that you hold onto.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
    Yes, I meant a bank holiday. No, unfortunately, they could not all get the day off. Soldiers don't get Veteran's Day off either, but we still honor them. The ones who died don't get a holiday either, but we celebrate their memory. If we can have two holidays for soldiers, why isn't there one for these people. They risk their lives every bit as much and get far less thanks for it. Veterans get benefits for life and are first in line for some jobs (not saying any of that is wrong). Police and firefighters don't get any of that, and police are often hated, usually for no reason, by the very citizens they are protecting. Seems like the least we could do is have a holiday to honor them, throw parades in their honor, something like that.
    Memorial Day is a day to remember all who died while serving the country in the service of the Armed Forces.

    Veteran's Day is a day to remember all who have served, living and dead.

    Members of the armed forces get retirement benefits if they serve honorably for at least 20 years. If you are honorably medically discharged, you limited benefits. If you end your enlistment, you get essentially no benefits.

    As a police officer or firefighter, your benefits depend on where you work. They almost always include a pension for working there for 20 years, very similar to the benefits veterans receive. Some police and fire units receive much better benefits than others. It all depends on local taxes.

    While veterans do have a leg up on getting some federal jobs, they are not automatically given first pick. They do not necessarily have a leg up on civilian jobs either. That is all dependent on the employer. Reservists, who deploy as much, if not more, than active duty, often find it harder to acquire a job than their civilian counterparts. While there is no proof, and it is illegal for most companies to do so, it is suspected that companies do not want to hire reservists because of the potential for deployment.

    Meanwhile, while the job of fire fighters and police officers can be dangerous, they can also come home every day to their family and friends while a deployed service member must deal with stress in a dangerous location for extended periods of time without the familiarity of home and ability to relieve stress in a preferred method.

    Also, service members are also often hated for no reason.


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  11. #11
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    Thought this thread warrants bumping in light of Boston...why do we honor our soldiers with bank holidays and a myriad of other things but not law enforcement? They are heroes too.



  12. #12
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    I would love to see a holiday honoring them!



  13. #13
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    Two reasons:

    1) It's a nice idea, but there's no compelling reason for it. Nations honor soldiers because they directly protect the nation. Take away the military and you will eventually lose the country. I would NOT want to live in a country without police, firemen, etc., and I'm not knocking these professions, but they are not integral to the survival of the country in the same way. They make life better, but that is hardly limited to cops and firemen. Anyone who's endured an urban transit or garbage strike can attest, those civil servants make life a lot better, particularly in summer.

    2) If it's about risk, most industrial jobs carry more risk than being a cop or fireman. One of the most dangerous jobs in America is being a motel maid. Not as flashy as being shot, but having your back trashed by the time you're 40 is no picnic.



  14. #14
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    It becomes a slippery slope when you begin adding "bank holidays" to the calendar. While I admire and appreciate our first responders, I feel that the calendar is quite full enough, and there are other ways to show our appreciation. As far as pay--it is entirely dependent on location and level. The national average for police pay is $53,000 (bls.gov) and firefighters is $45,000 (bls.gov), with lots of opportunity for both overtime and advancement, as well as generous retirement and disability via their union contracts.

    As Vacation1 said, not the riskiest job in America, by a long shot. I do believe Agricultural workings still hold that position.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    It becomes a slippery slope when you begin adding "bank holidays" to the calendar. While I admire and appreciate our first responders, I feel that the calendar is quite full enough, and there are other ways to show our appreciation. As far as pay--it is entirely dependent on location and level. The national average for police pay is $53,000 (bls.gov) and firefighters is $45,000 (bls.gov), with lots of opportunity for both overtime and advancement, as well as generous retirement and disability via their union contracts.

    As Vacation1 said, not the riskiest job in America, by a long shot. I do believe Agricultural workings still hold that position.
    As the wife of a Fire Marshall, let me explain the early retirement. It is because they DIE EARLY DEATHS ! All of the burning plastics they inhale, well the lung cancer rates are sky high as well as other premature cancers. But hey, not really a "risky" job from some people.


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  16. #16
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    No one said it wasn't risky--that's part and parcel of job. I'm sorry for your husband's problems, but the point is, that many, many jobs carry risk due to factors directly associated with them.

    I'd like to think that Labor Day would fit as a way to honor both police and firefighters, as most are members of unions and have benefited from what unions have fought for.

    I guess I believe no one is forced to become a policeman or firefighter (or, in my case, a teacher). When one chooses a career, one chooses the risks and benefits associated with it. More power to those who make the choice to be first responders, and thanks, too.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  17. #17
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    Why can't we give up the made up holiday of Columbus Day, since a man named Christopher Columbus never existed? We don't clog the calendar and we can honor people who actually do something, other than steer a disease riddled boat off course and "find" a place that was never lost.

    I would much rather celebrate first responders
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"


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  18. #18
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    Columbus Day isn't a bank holiday, is it?
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  19. #19
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    I won't support either of my children being in the fire department or police department. Posts like yours really are the reason I hate the department, when there is a major fire in my area, when our neighborhood is evacuated, I am alone. Mr stolen belongs to this community, and people like you say things like, "no one is forced to become a policeman or firefighter", yes they do it because they care about their community and people seem to think that they are overpaid, "with generous retirement and overtime via their union contracts". The overtime is real, with sacrifices and the retirement is because most of them don't live that long.

    What a waste when people think it is such a sweet deal.



  20. #20
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    I guess my experience with firemen and policemen friends/family is very different than yours, Stolen Virtue. We'll agree to disagree, I hope.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



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