Honoring Federal Way’s first responders | The Firearms Lawyer

Federal Way resident Nandell Palmer hosted a recent event honoring unsung heroes.

We honored men and women that raise families, nurture churches and encourage others. The program included song, dance, oratory and a feast that Palmer and his family prepared and served themselves.

We are talking to Federal Way about such an event to honor law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical providers and other emergency personnel. The event should call attention to the need for the whole community to prepare for emergencies.

We are asking everyone in and around Federal Way to think about how we can honor our first responders. Surrounding communities contain agencies such as South King Fire and Rescue that work in and around Federal Way, so we may have to reach out and consider personnel from the surrounding area.

We also need to honor men and women like a JAG officer I know that had to leave his business for a year and assist as an active-duty military lawyer helping soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas. We now realize that stateside duty is just as dangerous as going to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Every place is now a danger zone. Modern tactical doctrine has evolved to the point where recognizable fronts and uniformed armies have been replaced with committed packs of warriors that randomly circulate in small teams looking for opportunities. Thus, a teacher, a firefighter or a janitor may need to be just as vigilant as a member of our special forces in Afghanistan.

The risks are all around us every day, not just during an obvious catastrophe. This is why churches and pastors may be the most important key to getting ready for future events. The sense of community that already exists in churches requires that pastors, priests and rabbis — even imams and other leaders — train those within our various spiritual communities so that we do not just react to crises. Get into CERT training and classes provided by the city, state and federal governments and recognize first responders that labor among you.

Many of us already have extra food and emergency supplies. Many people meet the criteria to be honored as first responders in one capacity or another. We need a committee to handle the nominations and determine which individuals will be honored. Each individual will represent all responders from the various agencies in and around Federal Way.

None of us are able to take all the steps necessary to prepare for every contingency. We depend on each other. The beginning of good government is when neighbors voluntarily pool resources in order to provide for each other’s well-being and for the common defense. Historically, public order starts with volunteerism. A militia is formed. We divide into specialties. Eventually, a strongman starts using force to extort goods and services from his neighbors.

Every Thanksgiving, I appreciate America’s biblical roots, the U.S. Constitution and the freedom to talk and write about such things. I also appreciate the professionals that have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and stand guard over the city.


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Keith Livingston is a longtime Federal Way resident and community observer. He can be reached at keithlivingstondesign@gmail.com.
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