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At the Impact - June 2013

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   First responders change lives. It is a part of the job, and for every routine call, there is a member of the community whose life may be impacted forever. In this section, we will present a small sampling of the stories from community members and the families of service personnel, demonstrating the day-to-day difference a first responder can make through their skill and dedication.

Thank Your Rochester, NY Police Department Facebook Page

   A few grateful citizens of Rochester, NY responded to a Facebook profile created to criticize their local police with a message of their own. The Thank Your Rochester, NY Police Department page is a place for people to exchange positive and encouraging stories about first responders, and those stories have come in droves. Created on March 26th, 2013, the page already boasts more than 2150 "likes," and has received testimonials, memorials, and motivational messages not just from New York, but around the country. Here are some examples of the great stories you can find by following this page:

Rochester Police Department, NY, New York, with Canines, K9

   From April 25th: Photos of RPD's finest, including "Ram, along with his handler Officer Matt Balch, is on the left in the picture and Ian along with his handler, Officer Kevin Miskell, is on the right."

From May 19th: The "Story From a Proud Daughter," a poem:
"Her hair was up in a ponytail, her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school, and she couldn't wait to go.
But her mommy tried to tell her, that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand, if she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid; she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates of why he wasn't there today.
But still her mother worried, for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again, she tried to keep her daughter home.
But the little girl went to school eager to tell them all,
about a dad she never sees, a dad who never calls.
There were daddies along the wall in back, for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently, anxious in their seats.
One by one the teacher called a student from the class,
      to introduce their daddy, as seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name, every child turned to stare,
      each of them was searching, a man who wasn't there.
'Where's her daddy at?' she heard a boy call out.
'She probably doesn't have one,' another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere near the back, she heard a daddy say,
      'Looks like another deadbeat dad, too busy to waste his day.'
The words did not offend her, as she smiled up at her Mom,
      and looked back at her teacher, who told her to go on.
And with hands behind her back, slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child, came words incredibly unique.
'My Daddy couldn't be here, because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be, since this is such a special day.
And though you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know,
      all about my daddy, and how much he loves me so.
He loved to tell me stories, he taught me to ride my bike,
      and he surprised me with pink roses, and taught me to fly a kite.
We used to share fudge sundaes, and ice cream in a cone,
      and though you cannot see him, I'm not standing here alone.
'Cause my daddy's always with me, even though we are apart,
      I know because he told me, he'll forever be in my heart.'
With that, her little hand reached up, and lay across her chest,
      feeling her own heartbeat, beneath her favorite dress.
And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads, her mother stood in tears,
      proudly watching her daughter, who was wise beyond her years.
She stood up for the love of a man not in her life,
      doing what was best for her, doing what was right.
And when she dropped her hand back down, staring straight into the crowd,
      she finished with a voice so soft, but its message clear and loud.
'I love my daddy very much, he's my shining star,
      and if he could, he'd be here, but heaven's just too far.
You see he is a soldier and died just this past year,
      when a roadside bomb hit his convoy and taught the world to fear.
But sometimes when I close my eyes, it's like he never went away.'
And then she closed her eyes, and saw him there that day.
And to her mother's amazement, she witnessed with surprise,
      a room full of daddies and children, all starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before them, who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second, they saw him at her side.
'I know you're with me Daddy,' to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers, of those once filled with doubt.
Not one in that room could explain it, for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her, was a fragrant long-stemmed rose.
And a child was blessed, if only for a moment, by the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing, that heaven is never too far.'

- Unknown Author

Dedicated to the children whose parents will never make it home...."

Posted by Deborah Young and Juno from Juno's Place.

   The administrators of the page are quick to link and share stories from other departments honoring their first responders. The page has shared stories from the San Antonio PD, the Monroe County Sherriff’s Office, and the Waco Police Department Neighborhood Services Detectives pages among others. The mission for this community page is clear, "This page is dedicated to those who are devoted to public service! May God bless all of those who serve and protect us and keep us safe! Our first responders deserve our support!"

For more information, and to "like" them on Facebook, visit their page here.

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