Local Heroes

May 24, 2017

To the Editor:

What does it take to be a hero?

The answer to this question probably comes to mind quite quickly. We all can picture our great soldiers, heavily armed, rifle over the shoulder, protecting our country and our way of life. We can see our police and firefighters putting their lives on the line every day just for our safety. Our heroes can even be our moms and dads or family members who go out of their way for us in their everyday devotion.

One of these groups has come to my mind on several occasions over the last few years, and this is the story. It starts several years ago just after the destruction of the twin towers on 9/11. We knew about the heroes in New York City and were thankful for them. Even with the same grief in my heart as everyone else in the country, a couple days after the shock of 9/11 I decided I would treat myself to a trip to Long Beach Island.

The two-hour trip with my wife was more somber than most of our rides to the beach, as a direct result of what was going on in our country. When I came over the Causeway and turned north on Long Beach Boulevard, one difference I noticed was many of the houses had more flags out than usual. As I proceeded north from Ship Bottom into North Beach toward my destination of Harvey Cedars, nothing seemed very different than normal, with the exception of the flags.

However, as I passed 80th Street in Harvey Cedars, I looked out my side window and was quite surprised to see almost the entire street covered with fire hoses, hose connectors, axes, fire tools and trucks. Several firemen were working on this equipment. After unloading my luggage at my house, I walked over to the High Point Volunteer Fire Co. firehouse to see what was going on.

I inquired and one of the guys quickly replied that they were getting their equipment ready to send up to their brothers in New York City if needed. A burst of pride welled up inside of me. That pride was also mixed with just a small chuckle. Imagine our Harvey Cedars fire company with its three trucks going to New York City to support one of the largest fire companies in the world. They would be supporting their big brothers. Talk about pride, talk about heroes!

Recently I asked one of the members of the fire company if they did in fact go to New York City. I was told no. After discussing this idea with the other fire companies on the Island, it was determined the Harvey Cedars fire company needed to stay home and protect our houses on the Island. Other LBI companies were chosen to transport equipment and provide manpower to New York. Talk about heroes. I also learned that members of High Point Fire Co. did spend several nights sleeping at the firehouse in case the call came for any equipment or manpower that they had.

These are my local heroes.

Al Zarrolli

Churchville, Pa., and Harvey Cedars

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.