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Cicero’s heroes

— Unfortunately, our neighbors to the north are still cleaning up the mud and debris which was left by the wrath of Hurricane Irene. The devastation left folks homeless, destroyed businesses and washed out roads all of which will take months if not years to recover from the damage.

This natural disaster comes at a time when the tragic events of Sept. 11 ten years ago are on our minds. It is a time to reflect on the individual stories of those that lost their lives and the families they left behind. It is also a time to remember the dedicated volunteers that helped in the aftermath.

When these tragedies occur we see Americans come together to help those that are suffering and in need. Instead of relaxing, hundreds of people spent this past Labor Day weekend helping in the relief effort sponsored by the overnor coined “Labor for Your Neighbor.” After Sept. 11, 2001 there were also many organized efforts to assist as communities and our nation came together and donated time and money to help in the relief efforts.

Here in Cicero, we have many heroes that go unnoticed that volunteer their time for others in our community on a daily basis. We have hundreds of volunteer firefighters from five departments in Cicero that put their lives on the line to keep their neighbors safe and help in times of crisis. Cicero is also fortunate to have folks that dedicate their time as VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service) that spend hundreds of hours assisting residents and helping assure community events go smoothly. Then there are the volunteers for Meals on Wheels who help ensure people receive a low-cost nutritional meal that they may not otherwise receive.

There are also countless faith-based groups that go above beyond in our community. For example, when the Cicero United Methodist Church came together this past May to help provide disaster relief to people suffering in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Many of our churches also have food pantries such as Sacred Heart’s “Anna’s Pantry” and others that provide ramps for the disabled.

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