Everyone deserves thanks for the work they do. First responders, including police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, whose job it is to maintain order and protect our health and safety, put their lives on the line every day.

Unfortunately, the misguided actions of a few have created a climate that adds stress and danger for all.

The congregation of Thornton Heights United Methodist Church would like to begin an effort to show first responders the gratitude and respect they deserve. May 19 is First Responders’ Day.

Some of the expressions of gratitude that have been suggested include a verbal “thank you,” notes and cards, lawn signs, baked goodies and blue ribbons displayed on trees, telephone poles, fences and other visible places.

These are simple acts, but they convey a message of thanks that will let our first responders know they are appreciated. Won’t you join us?

Maddie Akeley

For Thornton Heights United Methodist Church

South Portland