Every time 9/11 rolls around, I think about the first responders who rushed into the Trade Towers that day in 2001 to save lives, thinking very little about their own.  Would any of us have had the guts?  It makes today the perfect day to thank a first responder in East Texas for what they do on a daily basis  And there's one simple way to do it.

I've got a friend who is a police officer, and it's amazing what scrolls across his assignment screen on a daily basis while he's out on patrol.  He can't usually share a lot of the details, but there are car accidents, incidents with guns, suicides and other situations that he has to walk into and help get resolved each time he's on duty.  Firefighters are battling blazes that most of us would run from, and EMS workers are routinely taking care of the type of bloody trauma patients that we only see in the movies. They are all courageous.

We're not in New York or at the Pentagon today to visit a memorial and pay respects, but we can honor our own first responders in East Texas today by using a simple hashtag on social media.  Thankyoufirstresponder.org is encouraging us to add the hashtag #ThankYouFirstResponder to "Tweets, Instagram Media, Flicker Posts or Google+ Activities" and they'll put them on a scroll on their website.  This continues beyond 9/11 and throughout the year, and there are hundreds of posts from across the country collecting there.

A petition is also in the works to create a National Day of Recognition for First Responders.  You can sign that HERE if you're so inclined.

So, East Texas police officers, State Troopers, firefighters, and EMS workers...thank you!  We appreciate you.  Today and every day.

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