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Student sentiments about 1st responders
Joshua Cowell students pack items for troops. - photo by Photo Contributed

Below are three of the students’ speeches shared on 911 Patriot Day at Joshua Cowell Elementary School last week.

One ordinary police officer

By Natalie Guerrero, Student Body secretary, Joshua Cowell Elementary School

One day, an ordinary police officer said goodbye to his wife and kids thinking when he would return home, he would be the same. But unfortunately that was not the case.

Little did he know he would be given a call to pursue a reckless driver. During this call, he took a wrong turn and hit a tree. Shortly after all this happened, he was airlifted to a nearby hospital. The doctors did everything they could to try and save his leg, but unfortunately they were forced to amputate.

Some of us would get mad or sad and never want to do something to put our life in danger but that was not the case. As soon as he got a prosthetic leg and was able to go back to work, he did just that with a smile on his face. This is just one of the thousands of stories of first responders that show how everyday they put their lives in danger to ensure the safety of ours.

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Soldiers, 1st responders share one thing in common

By Solman Aniss, Joshua Cowell 8th grade representative

Although I was never fortunate enough to know a first responder such as a police officer, a firefighter, or a medic personally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the courageous men and women who rightfully fall under this category of occupation.

I would like further to express my gratitude to the soldiers who fight for our freedom and represent our country, whether they are stationed here in the United States, or in the other nearly 150 countries that house U.S. military bases.

While their titles may be different, both soldiers and first responders share at least one thing in common – they both risk their lives day and day out in order to protect and save the lives of their fellow citizens. Finally, I’d like to give thanks to all the veterans and all the retired men and women who have contributed to the safety of our country in any way. Whether they have fallen on duty, passed away naturally, or are still boldly standing to this day, we will not fail to remember and recognize each and every one of them.

Oftentimes in our society, we get so caught up in our seemingly difficult day-to-day lives that we overlook our innumerable blessings, and focus instead on our misfortunes. One of these blessings in the daily sense of security and freedom we are given here in the United States, made possible only by the countless men and women who choose to serve for their country and their communities. And even if crisis were to ever strike your home, whether it’s a robbery, a house fire, or a sudden, severe injury, we are lucky enough to know that immediate aid is only three digits away. The same three digits of the day we are here to remember …911.

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First responders’ selfless actions: Doing the right thing

By Kiersten Melan, Joshua CowellSchool treasurer

What would you do in case of an emergency? Call 911, right? When you call 911, who will they send to help? The  firemen? The police? The ambulance? They are the first responders to any emergency. First responders spread a positive message of helping people in need. That is why they are my heroes.

Here’s a story for you.

Once upon a time, there was a boy. This boy was an only child. His parents were divorced. He lived with his mother in a tenement building.

Since the boy was very young at the time, he did not know what was going on in his life. As the years went along, the boy often felt sad, scared and unloved. He rarely even smiled. He couldn’t catch a break. One night, their room caught on fire when the boy’s mother forgot to turn off the stove. The mother panicked and ran out of the building without her child. The boy was in bed at that time and (woke up to) the smell of smoke and the wall of fire in front of him. The boy looked for the fire escape, but it had collapsed through decades of rust and (disrepair). The boy cried for help, but there was no help. He thought he would die, but he kept on pleading for help. He was scared for his life but no one was there to comfort him. With all four walls on fire, the boy decided to close his eyes and wait.

A decade before the tenement fire, there was a man who lived a happy, peaceful life. One day, he was watching the news. The news story was about a fire that had killed dozens of people in a hotel fire. The news reporter mentioned that the firemen on duty were unaware of the dozens of people on the top floor where the fire had started.

Several days later, that man was watching a similar story about three people who burned to death in a burning building before help could arrive. After watching lots of tragedies, that man was inspired to help people who desperately needed help. He decided to become a fireman. After years of training, he accomplished his dream of helping others by becoming a fireman. In the fireman’s years of duty, under his command, he didn’t lose one life to a fire.

Back to upon a time, the fireman was assigned to the boy’s tenement fire. He received word that everyone got out safely, but for one boy, trapped on the top floor. Feeling brave, the fireman ignored all orders, put on his mask, set up the fire truck ladder to the top floor, and climbed. He climbed as fast as he could, ignoring all cries. He climbed through the cracked glass window and entered the room where the unconscious boy was. He picked him up and carried him out, just before the building collapsed. The boy was given medical treatment and witnesses were questioned.

When the boy regained consciousness, he had wondered what happened. He asked a news reporter next to him about what happened. The reporter explained that the tenement caught on fire and he was saved by a fireman. Being saved from a situation that involved death was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for him. He wanted to meet the fireman who saved him. He found the fireman and asked him why he had saved him. The fireman said in reply, “I helped you because I knew it was the right thing to do. It is my job and my passion to help people in need.” This touched the boy for the rest of his life. When the boy grew up, he became a fireman because he wanted to help people in need. Just like him when he was young.