There are so many people to be grateful for in the wake of Sandy, including all of our public officials and volunteers and beginning with our Mayor. She met this catastrophe with extraordinary leadership, organization and compassion and for that we can all be thankful and proud.
But I would like to bring special attention to a group that I have long admired - our sanitation workers. They first earned my appreciation after a typically disgusting scene following a St. Patty's Day parade several years ago. I was walking home late at night amazed at the amount of rubbish overwhelming almost any glimpse of sidewalk or road along Washington and surrounding streets. In their drunken stupor the revelers had obviously mistaken our entire town for their own personal garbage can and it was hard to imagine the amount of work it would take to clean it all up. But, of course, it was all cleaned up. I remember seeing our workers early the next morning sweeping, hauling, washing until by the end of the day our town was back. I remember thinking then what unsung heroes these guys were and how I wished they were more publicly applauded. The truth is it's easy to forget their work since most of the time its invisible to us as we magically find our garbage cans emptied and all of our debris carted off by the time we wake up.
Sandy rekindled this memory when I watched our workers slowly trudge through the streets only a couple of days after the disaster. St. Patty's Day Parade was mere child's play. I watched as a couple of men loaded up wet carpets, heavy bureaus, couches, wet sheet rock, entire basement floors - well, you can imagine. The sheer back-breaking reality of it was hard to fathom but they worked their way slowly down the streets as we stood by and simply stared at their gargantuan efforts. I know this is their job but what a job!
I am grateful that as we continue to dig ourselves out of the storm these terrific workers will be there to literally pick up after us. Thanks to each and everyone of them.