This picture really hit me. That’s because I’m sitting in the middle of a flood. I’m OK, but a lot of people aren’t. Unfortunately, floods and other disasters keep coming around and they cause chaos and misery whenever they strike. This photo shows a Red Cross doctor and nurse caring for a mother and her son during the Missouri River flood of 1952. Thankfully the mother and child reached the safety of the Red Cross shelter, which undoubtedly was being staffed by volunteers and first responders who were worried about their own homes and families. I’m very grateful for people who are willing to put their personal concerns aside when things get bleak.

I want to thank all first responders and volunteers, America’s heroes, as we prepare to observe 9/11, one of the bleakest days in our nation’s history. The men and women who responded to the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks are awe-inspiring. They put aside their own personal safety and concerns when our nation need them most, and unfortunately, ten years later, many are paying a very high price. Countless 9/11 first responders have developed Trade Center cough and cancer is a growing threat. Congress passed a bill in January that provides $1.5 billion for the treatment of breathing disorders and mental health problems, and $2 billion in compensation for those affected. The bill must be renewed in five years.

Let’s pitch in and support our heroes by urging Congress to support funding designated for first responders. They were there for us on 9/11. Let’s be there for them.