Monday, October 7, 2013

Unsung Heroes

At first, I wondered what was the big deal-the park being closed due to the government shut down.  Why is this any different than any other off-season visit to the park when we walk across closed gates? Although the politics of this nation locked Acadia and sent the bulk of the rangers home, it is that the safety of throngs of fall visitors cannot be guaranteed.  Yes, this is our park.  Yes, we have a right to enjoy all that this area has to offer, but frankly, the fact is that people do stupid things.  No one intends on falling and breaking a leg only to be rescued from elevations and sharp drops that necessitate a litter to be suspended by ropes and pullies down the face of a mountain.  This operation can only be orchestrated by an army of trained people.  Unfamiliar with the fury of the Atlantic and a mix of storms, spectators have been plucked off the shore and flung into the sea and tossed about like leaves in a whirlpool.  There have been drownings.  Yet there have also been rescues through the heroics of our Acadia National Park rangers and volunteers.  I am privileged to live where I live.  If I choose to venture into the park for a walk, I will use every precaution and a bit of common sense while  repeatedly mouth the words, "Thank you.  Thank you." Our rangers are unsung heroes quietly overseeing the safety of thousands and thousands of visitors each year.  Sometimes, it is only through loss that we recognize all that we once had and enjoyed.

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