Tuesday marked the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2011 attacks that resulted in the deaths of thousands in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Somerset County, Pa.
While much deserved attention and respect is shown for those first reponders and individuals who lost their lives that day, the anniversary of an event such as 9/11 should not be required for Americans to take a moment to thank the heroes in their lives and community.
What defines a “hero” is subjective, ranging from the neighbor transporting an elderly resident to a cooling station during June’s power outage, to the cancer patient who fights for their life every day without complaint.
Despite our personal definitions of what a hero is, the recent incident on the Clay and Roane county border which resulted in the death of two West Virginia State Troopers is an unwelcome reminder of the dangerous conditions our law enforcement officials and first responders can find themselves in. Likewise, it serves as a reminder that individuals in those lines of work deserve our appreciation and respect.
The troopers, much like those individuals who rushed into the burning World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2011, were simply doing their jobs. In the case of Troopers Cpl. Marshall Bailey and Eric Workman, the two were conducting a routine traffic stop in an effort to keep our roadways and neighborhoods safe, a task that can often be taken by the general public as an unnecessary waste of time or resources.
However, despite the unfortunate and tragic outcome, the duo, and the rest of the law enforcement in that area who found and killed the suspect within minutes, were successful in keeping a dangerous person from roaming the streets and neighborhoods of those counties. Even in a time of grave sadness and unthinkable pain for the troopers and their families, let it be known those men are heroes for doing their jobs.
We are hopeful that while taking a moment on Tuesday to reflect on the tragedies of September 11, 2001, our readers and residents across the Mountain State and America took a moment to also thank those who keep us safe on a daily basis, no matter the situation or circumstance. For that, undoubtedly, is what makes a hero.