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Acknowledge your “Everyday Heroes”- Celebrate National Park Volunteer Appreciation Day!

April 27, 2013

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Today is National Park Volunteer Appreciation day! Volunteers contribute countless hours, their time and energy to the mission of the National Parks.    In Fiscal Year 2005, 137,000 volunteers donated 5.2 million hours to the national parks at a value of $91.2 million!

I have a profound appreciation for the energy volunteers contribute, especially highlighted during the tragic events at the Boston Marathon recently. 

I went to Boston to run my first Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day, April 15th. I experienced personally the dedication and caring from many wonderful individuals during and after this event. My wife and I were a block away from the finish line when the explosions occurred.  I had finished the race about an hour before.  Luckily, because of many helpful volunteers, my wife was able to find me ten minutes before the event happened and we were both out of harm’s way.  

As I think about the surreal events of that day, I can’t help think about all the individuals (over 8000) that were staffing aid stations for the race along the course, directing traffic, or helping distribute race numbers at the runner’s expo the day before.   As has been reported in the  news,  there were many volunteers and ordinary citizens who ran in to help those injured. These are the’ extraordinary heroes’ that were doing what needed to be done to save lives that day.     

 Please take the time to thank the volunteers you work with- those who do ‘ordinary things’- as they may be called on to do extraordinary things.  They are your “Everyday Heroes”!

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