October 28 is being recognized in a growing number of states as “First Responders Day,” and in June, the campaign took a significant step toward becoming a nationally recognized day of appreciation and recognition for our nation’s police, fire, EMS and dispatchers.
After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Andrew Collier, the brother of gunned-down MIT police officer Sean Collier, reignited a longstanding movement to honor our nation’s first responders, according to the All Clear Foundation, a nonprofit foundation supporting programs to improve first responders’ life expectancy and wellbeing. Collier’s effort picked up momentum and began to draw greater awareness, prompting lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to take notice. However, to date efforts to create a national day celebrating all first responders across the country have not been successful, the foundation states.
Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), James Lankford (R-OK), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Representatives Mark Meadows (R-NC), Mike Capuano (D-MA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3), Joe Courtney (D-CT-2), and the late Elijah Cummings (D-MD), have all called for a national day of recognition as sitting, elected officials.
On June 7, 2019, a resolution passed in the U.S. Senate that designated Oct. 28, 2019, as “Honoring the Nation’s First Responders Day.”
“First responders put their lives on the line to keep us safe. That’s why it’s up to every single one of us to honor their service and their sacrifices,” Warren said. “I’m glad the Senate passed our bipartisan resolution to recognize first responders, and I hope Americans view every day as an opportunity to celebrate the courage and strength of these exceptional public servants in our communities.”
“Historic floods have ravaged my home state of Arkansas, but the rising waters are no match for the brave Arkansas first responders who stepped up to protect their friends and neighbors,” Cotton said. “First responders across the nation work tirelessly during times of crisis, often putting their own lives at risk to save others. Although these dedicated professionals deserve appreciation every day, our bill will now officially and properly celebrate their service on October 28.”
"Our first responders save countless lives every day, and many tragically pay the ultimate price in the line of duty—a sacrifice we should never forget. Designating a day to honor their service and sacrifice is the least we can do to express our gratitude," said Johnson.
"First responders are dedicated to protecting our communities, and deserve to be recognized for the sacrifices they have made to keep each and every one of us safe," said Peters. "I'm pleased the Senate passed this bipartisan resolution to honor the heroes in Michigan and across the country who stand ready to help in an emergency."
The All Clear Foundation has launched a petition campaign to garner support to get Oct. 28 officially recognized as National First Responders Day.