WHEREAS, first responders — those engaged in law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services — provide invaluable services by taking responsibility for the health and safety of our communities; and
WHEREAS, the people engaged in these services, who are in some cases volunteers, are drawn from the communities they serve and are committed to aiding their neighbors in the model of the Good Samaritan; and
WHEREAS, for nearly 80 years, the Knights of Columbus has sponsored the Matthews and Swift Educational Trust Scholarship, which was founded as a living memorial to veterans of the Second World War and supports the educational needs of the children of Knights of Columbus members who lost their lives in the line of duty while serving in the military, in law enforcement, or as a firefighter; and
WHEREAS, in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Knights of Columbus established a $1 million Heroes Fund that provided checks in the amount of $3,500 to 419 families of first responders who lost their lives on that terrible day; and
WHEREAS, many state and local councils have programs that support first responders in the communities they serve, including partnerships with police and fire departments through the Order’s Coats for Kids program; and
WHEREAS, in a speech to Italian police, Pope Francis remarked, “Your service, often not adequately admired, places you at the heart of society and, for its high value, I do not hesitate to define it as a mission, to undertake with honor and a deep sense of duty, to the service of man and of the common good”; and
WHEREAS, the Holy Father has regularly asked for prayers for first responders during his opportunities to meet with them or when expressing his sorrow at the tragedies to which these brave men and women respond.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus expresses its deep appreciation and continued solidarity with all first responders; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we also express our appreciation to the families of first responders who provide critical support to their loved ones as they bravely confront the risks associated with their service; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we renew our support for members of law enforcement agencies who professionally perform their duties with a sense of justice; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we commend the men and women who respond to fires and similar emergencies in our communities, as well as to national tragedies such as wildfires and other natural disasters; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we express profound gratitude to emergency medical service professionals who answer the call daily to save the lives of their fellow man and have faced increased risks during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we commit our prayers for the health and safety of all first responders to the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel while continuing to support special Masses, liturgical celebrations, and other appropriate services honoring these brave members of our communities.