Valor Awards shine a light on our local heroes

There has been a lot of talk lately about award presentations and the esteemed “red carpet.”

And while that has made for great theater in Hollywood and other locations, this community held perhaps its best awards event of the year last week — the 11th Annual Joshua M. Freeman Valor Awards, presented by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.

For those unaware, each year local law enforcement, fire departments and emergency medical response members are recognized for their efforts in front of their peers, supervisors and general public. Each department has one individual nominated by his or her supervisor, and each winner of a Valor Award has a moment in the sun to be honored.

In short, this is a spectacular event on many levels.

For starters, even though these individuals often toil in anonymity throughout the course of the year, and do so willingly, it is nice to see them recognized for all they do to keep us safe. It is also a great way to shine the light on all our local responders, and to remind people in the public that, though our community seems safe and quiet, there are life-threatening situations that occur, and our protectors and responders jump into the midst of that danger to protect the rest of us.

It is also good for the departments themselves, not just in terms of getting good PR for the work they do, but because it also lets the public see behind the curtain, so to speak. For our volunteer fire departments, that can potentially be a boon to fundraising efforts.

This year’s Valor Awards were filled with tales of heroism and competence, selflesness and honor — just like every year before this. It is a reminder to all that we are surrounded by day-to-day heroes who run into circumstances the rest of us would be running away from, and they do it without a second thought.

We are fortunate to have these brave people protecting us.