Our caring community responds during tragedy

Published 11:39 am Tuesday, June 23, 2020

It’s easy to take for granted the people who surround us every day, but it’s also important to recognize them.

A tragedy took place last week as a young man enjoying a day at Herrington Lake with friends lost his life in a drowning accident. Local first responders quickly got to work trying to rescue him. When it was apparent there was no rescue, they continued a long recovery mission.

Sadly, the search went on for six days, but the young man’s body was recovered. This happened thanks to the dedication of the rescue workers on the scene from several local organizations.

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The search was not a 9-to-5 effort, but instead one that went on for 15 or 16 hours each day. Many of those who took part were there each of those six days. Not only did they spend their time on the mission, they also did so while missing their regular jobs. Many of the rescue personnel are not paid, but instead are volunteers, helping on this mission and many others because it’s the thing to do when an emergency arises. While volunteering, many of those on site also missed their regular jobs, the ones that pay their bills. Instead of going to work, they used vacation time or took other time off work, some even taking unpaid time from their jobs.

It wasn’t only the rescue workers, but also some other local groups who stepped up to show their concern for their neighbors. Members of The Salvation Army were not asked to do anything to assist in the effort, but still they did. Food was delivered to the rescue workers on site each day by The Salvation Army, often with two deliveries of sandwiches, chips, soft drinks and whatever was needed to sustain the effort. With this help, those working the mission were able to continue working without having to leave the scene for meals and spend valuable time away from their work.

We understand that Danville Christian Academy provided assistance to the victim’s family members while they were on the scene, awaiting some closure to the tragedy that had come into their lives. Those family members were given shelter when needed, and allowed to use showers to freshen up, keeping their lives, although turned upside down by the events, a bit normal.

We never know when a tragedy will strike, but we can all take comfort in knowing there are people all around us who will step up to assist when it does. For that, we are truly grateful.