A few moments ago here in Los Angeles I heard the siren of a police car headed North on the 405. It's midnight on Christmas Eve. Shortly after that I heard the sound of the sirens of at least two vehicles of the fire department. I have no idea if the cop was from the LAPD or the LA County Sheriff or the Highway Patrol. I don't know if the rescue units trailing them up into the Sepulveda pass were from what fire agency. Were they LAFD? LA County fire? I don't know.
What I do know, however, is that they were/are on duty and responding to an emergency on a night that I know (from personal experience) they'd rather be spending with their families. I spent two Christmases working for Rural/Metro Fire as an EMT and volunteered to work Christmas eve and day both years because I knew there were other EMTs and Medics who had children and who wanted to spend the day with them. I also spent a few Christmases in the Air Force manning the computers that were a link to our national nuclear defense, because at the time I was single and others were not. However there have also been times in my life when I was raising a family and I relied on others to do the duties I had done in the past so I could spend time with my wife and children on Christmas.
What I am saying is that we should all be proud that there are men and women who give up their Christmas or New Years or Fourth of July or Thanksgiving or whatever, so the rest of us can enjoy those holidays in the sure and certain knowledge that, if something goes wrong, they'll be there for us. Few things (if anything) are more special then that. Most of them will be humble and say that they are just doing their job. That they are just doing what they are paid to do. Don't let them get away with that. Thank them. Tell every cop or firefighter or medic or EMT or Airman or Marine or Sailor or Soldier or whoever else has given up their holiday to make us all safer, how much you appreciate their sacrifice. Trust me, from someone who has been there, a simple thank you means the whole world and is priceless.