This mural is a reminder that people who serve in the military aren't the only ones who risk their lives for the sake of others. The artist Stephen Cornelius Roberts wanted to honor the professionals-- and the volunteers-- who are willing to sacrifice themselves to protect their fellow citizens and their property.
In a state like Nebraska, these jobs involve special challenges. It's a big state to watch over-- 77,358 square acres, in fact.
In rural areas, homes can be isolated. Town budgets can be small. Communities depend on volunteers to respond to emergencies such as fires and ambulance calls.
In big cities, emergency staff members are paid and in rural areas they are not. This may seem unfair. The problem is that sometimes rural areas don’t have enough calls to justify a full-time, paid emergency staff. Cities use their emergency services more often. Rural areas and small towns don’t have as much money but they do very well with volunteers.
Urban communities rely on emergency personnel, too.
Even those who are paid take on a difficult and life-threatening job.
Volunteers continue to carry out new ideas for helping by drawing on traditions of courage and generosity.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT . . .
How have you served others? How can you?