American Heroes Week 2017: Honoring those who answer the call of duty

Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD) • July 25, 2017

This week, our nation comes together to honor America’s heroes: our military, police force, firefighters, first responders, and medical professionals. These heroes volunteer to stand on America’s front lines in times of crisis, and sacrifice their time, their energy, and sometimes their lives for the well-being of others. The men and women we honor this week did not enter their professions seeking glory or gratitude – they did so because they each answered the call of duty to serve their communities.

Our nation’s first responders and medical professionals make countless personal sacrifices for the good of the nation. They spend holidays and birthdays in ambulances, emergency rooms, and operating rooms. They miss time with their own spouses and children for the sake of keeping their fellow Americans safe and healthy. As teenagers, they accept the burden of costly student loans and spend years in graduate school on the premise that someday they’ll be prepared to save lives.

Most Americans don’t know the names of the doctors and nurses who delivered them as babies, or set their broken arms when they were in elementary school. Most car accident survivors can’t name the first responders who unclipped their seat belts and stabilized them during the ambulance rides to the hospital. But these encounters deeply impact patients, and shape the way they treat others in the future. As Americans, we embrace the care and kindness of strangers, and pay it forward wherever we can.

Too many of our heroes’ individual sacrifices go unacknowledged each day, which is why I stand with President Trump this week to thank these heroes for their unrelenting service. To the men and women sacrificing so much of themselves for the good of others: your actions matter more than you know, and we will continue to fight for you in Washington.