A special word of thanks goes out today

Today I am grateful for a lot of people I don’t even know.

We’ve just come out on the back end of a nearly historic blizzard in the Texas Panhandle. We’ve got about 17 inches of snow on the ground in Amarillo. Schools shut down today and will be closed again Tuesday.

I’ve been impressed during our 18 years in Amarillo at the way the city functions even in the worst weather. Today the city virtually ground to a halt. That’s how bad it was.

But not everyone packed it in today. Many of our fellow residents were on the job. I want to express my thanks and gratitude to:

* Law enforcement personnel. They’ve been answering emergency calls all day, even during white-out conditions that forced the Department of Public Safety and the transportation department to close Interstate 40 across the entire width of the Panhandle. And I shouldn’t forget the criminal justice professionals who tend to those who are incarcerated; they, too, had to report for work today under miserable conditions.

* Firefighters. These individuals don’t just respond to fires. They also respond to other emergencies, such as those involving auto wrecks. And oh brother, we had a lot of them all across the Panhandle today. These folks are trained medical technicians and also had to brave some severe elements today as they performed their duty.

* Utility workers. We heard today about power outages as the wind-driven snow created havoc with electrical utility lines. How would you like to have been working while standing in one of those baskets elevated far above the street trying to restore power? Count me out.

* Medical personnel. Hospitals didn’t shut down today. They’re full of sick and injured folks who need attention from medical professionals. Those professionals answered the bell today even while many of the rest of us never ventured out the door.

I probably missed some folks who also deserve a word of thanks. I offer that to them now. You know who you are.

I am grateful that you responded on behalf of those who need you.

Well done.