Monday, August 29, 2005

Thankless Heroes

I remember after the 9/11 attack that there was such an outpouring of appreciation towards New York City's Finest (Fire Dept.) and Bravest (Police Dept.). I personally remember, following the attacks going over to many members of both the police and fire departments and just thanking them, shaking their hands and wishing them well.

It is clear that the heroism of the two security guards at the Central Bus Station in Be'er Sheva saved countless lives, and let us hope that they do not pay for that act of heroism with their own. Treppenwitz highlights this point beautifully in his post "Please Take a Moment".

Just last night, I attended the closing night of the "Chutzot HaYotzer" (Jerusalem Art Festival). As I had not yet been home since Shabbat, I was still carrying around with me my bag from Shabbat. The 1st of 2 security guards began thoroughly checking all of the compartments of my backpack, and while doing so, two of the ladies behind me in line asked if they could go by, as they didn't have any bags. The security guard said no, and kept on checking my bag. One of the two ladies said to the other (in Hebrew) "In any event, Kol HaKavod to her, for doing such a thorough job".

I then passed on to the 2nd security guard who had to "wand" me, checking to see if I had any weapons on me. I tend to carry lots of things on me (cell phone, palm pilot, loose change, keys, inhaler, pen...) and most of those things tend to set off the wand, so the check also took a bit longer than usual. The security guard began to apologize to me, to which I responded, "It's not your fault, for having to check me". He asked, "Whose fault is it?", to which I answered, our "friends", and to which he rightly corrected my choice of word, "You mean, our "cousins".

All in all, these brave men and women who put their lives on the line, day in and day out (for very little pay) so that we can live our daily lives, at the very least deserve our thanks. For those of us living in Israel, perhaps it's something we might want to take upon ourselves to make a habit of doing.


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