Girl scouts honor their heroes
‘As you all know, today is Sept. 11.
‘On this very day two years ago, the United States changed forever. Many lives were lost during this tragic event ‘ not just the innocent people who were on the planes when they crashed, but the people in the buildings as they fell and all the firemen and police officers and paramedics who lost their lives trying to save lives,’ said Jessica Schreck, 11, reading from a statement she had prepared for the occasion.
‘These are just a few of the reasons we are gathered here today,’ said Schreck, a member of Girl Scout Troop 1529.
‘I remember watching the news and seeing the Twin Towers fall and planes crash, and thinking, in shock: ‘What can I do?’ I felt there really wasn’t much I could do except to pray and to love and respect the country I live in and to say, ‘I am proud to be an American.’
‘I guess, in the end, that really was doing a lot.’
The Girl Scouts of Elizabeth took it a step further last week and treated firefighters, police officers, emergency responders and paramedics to a free dinner of ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, dinner rolls and hot biscuits, and home-baked desserts.
The Scouts’ moms and the dads (especially Bill and Jennifer Taylor) did the organizing and most of the cooking for Thursday’s 9/11 dinner in Elizabeth, at the new Community Life Center at the Elizabeth United Methodist Church. Agnes Summers and Dee Behr also helped cook, and the Rev. Roy Ice, the new pastor of Elizabeth and Bethesda Methodist churches, also lent a big hand.
The idea to have the meal came up only 1-1/2 weeks ago.
‘We are honoring our firemen and police officers,’ said Chelsea Taylor, 16, a senior Girl Scout in Troop 1433. ‘We don’t think they get enough recognition, so we’re honoring them.’
The Girl Scout Troops were joined by Brownie Troop 1147 and Daisy Troop 413.
At a brief program by the Girl Scouts, Chelsea’s mom, Jennifer Taylor, told the crowd; ‘Thanks for coming. You don’t know what you mean to our community. The jobs that you do … we really appreciate it.’
The message came through loud and clear to the 70 or so honorees at the dinner.
Sandy Sellers of Laconia, a paramedic with nine years experience, said, ‘We go out and do what we do because we enjoy it; we like people.
‘It’s not for the glory, and, God knows, it’s not for the money,’ she said, chuckling. ‘We’re there when people need us.
‘It’s nice to be remembered once in a while,’ she added. ‘It’s nice to know you’re appreciated.’
Bill Miller of Elizabeth, a volunteer firefighter for 44 years, said the evening’s dinner was a first, and it was an honor.
‘We’ve had suppers on our own, but we’ve never had anything like this,’ Miller said. ‘It means the people in the community feel the firemen, EMTs and sheriff’s department are doing the job, and they’re recognizing that. A lot of people don’t say anything until they need you.’