I wanted to take some time to acknowledge the humble crossing guard. I've known a few in my time, as I'm sure you all have. They are faithfully making sure you, me and our loved ones, old and young, are making it safely across the busy roads.
In the past couple of years, since I've moved into town, I have had 3 different crossing guards working on the corner around my street on a busy, 3-lane road.
The first man always welcomed me heartily and he waved at every car passing by. This was sometimes a little distracting if you were driving but you could not help but wave back. At Christmas you would find him dressed as Santa Claus, waving away to whoever would acknowledge the jolly red saint. He eventually retired and we moved onto the next fellow.
Now this gentleman was not so extroverted. Not much of a talker and he was serious about his job. He insisted I get off my bike and walk it as he escorted me across the road. It was protocol you see and he wanted to make sure I was following the rules. One day I was driving home on my lunch only to come across a horrific scene. It seems a car malfunctioned and had lost control. It struck my crossing guard, made it around the corner and crashed into a tree. I came on the scene just as EMS was performing CPR. My crossing guard, with his shirt ripped open, lying on the ground, looked like he was sleeping as they pumped up and down furiously on his chest. Sadly, he never made it. For a while, there was a board set up with flowers and notes to remember him by. Now there is only the scar left on the trunk of the tree where the car landed.
I have a new crossing guard now. He is a big reader, and as he waits to escort the kids you can usually find him sitting in a chair under the tree with a book. He has no qualms of me zooming by on my bike either. I just check and if the road is clear I yell " I got it!" and keep on going.
As I continue to bike to work there are other crossing guards I pass by. One, a very nice lady who always yells out to me "Good Morning! Have a great Day!" I always appreciate that blessing.
Another fellow has been on the job for a long time. He is a quiet one as well but does his job and very rarely has he missed a day.
So here's to you Crossing Guards. Thanks for all you do. Even though, sometimes, your job is dangerous, even deadly. Thanks for all your cheerful welcomes and waves, your hard work regardless of the weather, and for keeping me and my loved ones safe.