PULLMAN, W.Va. – Delegate Jason Harshbarger, R-Ritchie, today encouraged West Virginians to recognize and honor first responders as part of “Heroes Day,” which has been designated to be observed Sept. 9th.
“Heroes Day” got its start in 2015, when Delegate Roger Romine, R-Doddridge, sponsored House Resolution 16, which designated the second Saturday in September as a day to honor firefighters, law-enforcement officers and emergency medical services workers who are dedicated to helping those in need and protecting the public.
This year, Delegate Harshbarger worked with Gov. Jim Justice to issue a proclamation to designate the second Saturday of every September as “Heroes Day” in West Virginia. Gov. Justice signed that proclamation on March 28 during a small gathering in the Governor’s Office.
Harshbarger said Ritchie County residents will mark the occasion with a West Virginia Heroes Day 2017 celebration Saturday beginning at 3:30 p.m. at Ritchie County High School.
“The September 9th ceremony will pay tribute to those who lost their lives for our country and communities,” Delegate Harshbarger said. “It will also recognize those first responders among us who faithfully and selflessly serve to protect us day to day.
“I personally want to thank all the first responders for their commitment and dedication to serve and protect our country and communities,” Delegate Harshbarger said. “They put their lives on the line every day to serve us, and we are forever grateful for their sacrifices and devotion to their duty.”
In addition to honoring local first responders, Heroes Day will honor those who lost their lives in service to others on Sept. 11, 2001.
The day will also offer the opportunity to boost morale of our first responders, retain volunteers, raise awareness of needs in community and celebrate the services rendered by every first responder in the state.
“In addition to honoring our great public servants, this day could encourage young people to get involved in volunteering with their fire departments or working with their local EMS or law enforcement agencies,” Delegate Harshbarger said. “In recognizing and paying tribute to our first responders, we might also inspire generations to come to follow in their footsteps.”
The Sept. 9 Heroes Day event in Ritchie County will include music by the Ritchie County High School Band, remarks by Delegates Romine and Harshbarger and Rev. Bill Dawson, a speaker representing local law enforcement, greetings from the area’s Congressional representatives, and The Order of the Eastern Star will be presenting certificates to Ritchie County agencies from during the ceremony. Also, at the conclusion of the ceremony there will be a “Blessing of the Badge” for every first Responder present.
The event is free and open to the public. In addition to the public festivities, first responders will be invited to participate in a special question-and-answer forum with the local lawmakers and Congressional representatives to discuss matters affecting their service and profession.