EDITORIAL: In thanks for our first responders

IT WAS JUST AROUND A YEAR AGO THIS week that the Kearny Fire Department fought a massive blaze on Maple Street that completely destroyed an apartment building, leaving scores of people ó including many children and college students ó without a place to live.

The damage was so bad that the building ultimately had to be torn down.

The fire, you may recall, occurred on one of the coldest days of 2018. And yet somehow, not a single pedestrian or firefighter suffered so much as a cut that day.

After the fire, of course, this community banded together, as it always seems to do, in the face of tragedy.

Scores of residents donated clothing for the victims. Others donated food.

On the one-year anniversary, we are reminded of just how fortunate we to live in a community that truly cares for each other.

This just isnít the way of it everywhere. But it truly is here.

We are also reminded of how fortunate we are to live in a community where public safety is extremely important and where the fire and police departments work so diligently, often in concert with each other.

That day last year, so many firefighters and police officers braved the bone-chilling temperatures to ensure everyone affected by the blaze remained safe.

They did so without concern for their own well-being, which is often the case.

While we offered praise and thanks last year for the work of the Kearny Fire and Police departments ó and the rescue squad. We do so again today.

Too often, residents come into contact with these women and men on one of the worst days of their lives ó if not the single-worst day of their lives.

But the truth is, on a daily basis, we are fortunate to have these brave and fine women and men protecting us.

There are some who may have never have contact with a firefighter or a police officer. Yet if that day comes, you can be assured you’ll be in very good hands.

So again, to all the women and men who put on a police, fire or EMT uniform, we thank you for the sacrifices you make on a daily basis. Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.