Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS and Dispatch personnel – Fourth of July 2017

As always, I want to say a big thank you to all who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I cannot express my gratitude enough for your assistance. I also want to thank each of you reading this. I hope you will find some encouragement or inspiration. I know you’re busy and you do a lot to get ready for your shift. So again, thank you for reading.

We are quickly closing in on July 4th, the day we celebrate our independence. And while some of you may dread this because of all the fireworks calls (or the shots fired calls that turn out to be fireworks), the significance of this day is largely up to how significant it is to us. To some it may be another holiday (or another day we get overtime or “comp days”). To others, a time to cook out with the family and bask in the sun by the pool. Or maybe you will celebrate it on July 6 because you work on July fourth, are off on the sixth. But no matter how you celebrate it, as Americans, it means something to all of us.

The “American Dream” has been described as a relay race. We take experiences, information, and feelings from the generation before us and run our part and pass them off to the generation ahead of us. It’s fair enough for us to as “What am I passing to the next generation?” Not just our families, but our communities, and all the organizations we are affiliated with.

How do we make it better? How do out small acts for others matter? How does the smile, handshake, or kind word to others matter? How does our willingness to be better and to help others change the world? We’ve all probably heard the story of the man who noticed a child walking along the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. He came up and said,” Good morning! What are you doing?” The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.” “I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?” “The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.” “But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!” The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

I think that humanity rises or falls based on thousands (maybe even millions) of events we do in our lives without giving it much thought. That those individual acts may not mean much, but collectively, they encourage others to reach just a little bit farther or be just a little better. To quote another of my favorite sayings “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

What can I do to raise the level of humanity just a little bit today? What can you do? What can WE do? Who knows, but it sure is worth the try.

So Happy Independence Day, America! Let’s go out and live it!

In closing, as always, thank you so much for who you are, and all you do. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.

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