During a casual text exchange with my daughter last Wednesday, she happened to mention the flyover about to take place. The National Guard was sending two F-15C’s over several area hospitals to honor health care workers and first responders caring for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Our town’s hospital was on the list and we had about 20 minutes to reach a good viewing spot.
Quickly hopping in the car, we drove to a high point right next to the hospital. But we weren’t the only ones there. My photo doesn’t do it justice but I would assume there were around 75 people. Across the street and around the corner were even more. Young, old, frail—people just came to view the jets and to join in honoring some brave men and women.
Within moments, people began pointing as my husband said “There they are.” The silence of this peaceful day was soon broken as the jets approached. People shielded their eyes from the strong Florida sun, hoping to catch a good glimpse as engines roared overhead.
The actual flyover only lasted a few seconds. The crowd quickly dispersed as silence once again returned. My heart was happy. I loved being a part of this small crowd and feeling as if the very act of seeing the fighter jets helped me be a part of thanking so many people who were giving selflessly of their time. The whole experience was moving and quite heartwarming.
It is good and right to honor our health care workers and first responders. But there are so many others involved in this fight also. So many others who deserve a thank-you. Some you see, and some you don’t. City, county, state, and national leaders are working tirelessly. Teachers and students are mastering the virtual environment while parents are supervising distance learning. Technology has enabled connections to be maintained with many having to learn new ways to master this all-important skill.
Numerous, unsung, unnoticed people involved in this fight include scientists, researchers, city workers, grocery store employees, essential businesses, manufacturing and food industry workers. And neighbors. Those who live among us, perhaps right next to us.
Many of these neighbors are sewing masks by the hundreds, some being sold but many simply being given away. Other neighbors are fostering rescue animals to the point that many of the shelters are empty. Some neighbors are checking in with others to ensure their well-being. Others are picking up groceries for those who can’t or shouldn’t leave their homes.
Neighbors are posting encouraging messages on social media while others use it to let people know where they can buy toilet paper, Clorox wipes, or even yeast. They are visiting in driveways in the cool of the evening, sitting six-feet apart but hanging with and encouraging each other. They are walking and biking while they wave and greet others, offering a sweet hello in an otherwise typical, perhaps routine day.
We truly are all in this together. And all deserve a big shout-out. But today, I especially want to say thank you to all the unsung heroes out there. Those who are overlooked and under-appreciated.
You are vital to us in this time and we see you. We truly see you…and thank you.