Today is a day of deep reflection for our Environmental Health community. Together, we have felt the horror, the anger, and feelings of disgust from the Dec 2, 2015 events in San Bernardino. We have felt the hopelessness in the wake of this tragedy. We have seen the faces of confusion and disbelief. But through the darkness and despair, there has also been a great light, a great outpouring of love and caring for those we lost and for those still affected. The majority of our community is a community of public service.
Our nature is to get up, to respond to a call for help. And we have. We have responded with giving what we could; money, time, service. We responded with anything we could do to help. CEHA stepped outside of the traditional role of professional trade association to the role of a charity organization, to ensure we fulfill the intentions of those that gave as well as to stand up as a community for the memories of those we lost.
The memory of one year ago today is still very raw. I recall seeing a newsflash alert on my cell phone, and not realizing this was our community, our people. One of my co-workers informed me it was a local health jurisdiction that was targeted, and then emails started coming through, and the day unfolded with the tragic results. The next days involved a lot of communication, and organizing ourselves to reach out and help. Together we responded to keep the memories alive of those who are no longer with us, but remain with us in the work that we do. Their memory lives on in the friendships and comraderies that go on every day and are yet to be made in the future.
Their memory lives on with the hard work and dedication we do every day for environmental health so others may thrive under environmental health’s protective shield. Their memory lives on in every positive outcome our inspections, permit actions, reviews, control plans, grade scores, investigations and outreach produced. Their memory lives on with every new EHS Trainee, REHS and every REHS’s retirement. Their memory lives on, and we will never forget.I still cannot believe our community has been scarred this in this way. It hurts so much, and to say plainly my throat still chokes up, especially when I hear the stories: of their loves, their children, their bravery and honor, their years of service, and their new beginnings. My heart breaks and there are no good words to say. It is hard to keep moving forward. As I get older, honestly my patience for people wains. But I am lucky; I am getting older where others no longer can.
Our sadness will remain because we are good people and we must remember to keep moving forward. We must remember for everyone, we must make a conscious choice to keep moving forward to break through past those that want the world to stop. I’m not stopping. Friends and colleagues, on this day of remembrance reflect on the good work done by those that have left us, reflect on their lives and how that can draw inspiration to keep moving forward this day and for the days to come. Our hearts are forever broken, but will also forever be filled with the love and honor for those whose memory we keep alive today.
CEHA Pres. 2016-2017
Update: CEHA has closed the SB Strong Donation link to begin the distribution process. Updates will be emailed and posted on the facebook page. We THANK EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO HAS GENEROUSLY DONATED!
TOTAL TO DATE (7-2-16, 9:00 AM) $50,708.15
Check out this great video from Riverside County EH dedicated to all those who answered the call the help out San Bernardino:
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE HELPED AND CONTINUE TO HELP!