Encouragement is appreciated

The image of collapsed and burning buildings combined with the knowledge that so many have died in planes and on the ground has overwhelmed us all. We at Eastside Fire and Rescue join with you in mourning the loss of so many innocent people, and we join you in praying for the recovery of those injured.

Emotionally, like you, we have felt a great drain. However, for the past month we have been lifted up by your many calls of encouragement, your sweet letters of appreciation, your visits, hugs, waves and the treats left at our doors. We are very deeply touched by the flowers, flags and notes which have popped up at makeshift memorials at your EF&R fire stations.

We salute with sadness our firefighting brothers and sisters, as well as other emergency responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice to save others involved in the terrorist attacks. Balance, however, is coming back to us as we experience the outpouring of compassion and empathy you have extended to us who have pledged to give all, should the call be made.

To the citizens who we are honored to protect on a daily basis, your generosity and acts of kindness have meant everything to us. On behalf of the very talented and most dedicated men and women of EF&R, we pay you tribute for recognizing sacrifices made and we thank you for your past and future support.

Lee A. Soptich

Fire chief, Eastside Fire and Rescue

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