Events this coming Sunday and Tuesday in Lawrence are especially worthy of community note, and both involve giving heartfelt recognition to our fellow citizens who have unselfishly risked their lives to protect our community and our freedoms.
On Sunday afternoon, the Dole Institute of Politics at Kansas University will present the 2012 Dole Leadership Prize to the Wounded Warrior Project, which has as its mission honoring and empowering Wounded Warriors. The project is described as “the hand extended to encourage warriors as they achieve new triumphs.”
The program, starting at 4 p.m. at the Dole Institute, is to include a presentation of “Taps”; a panel discussion involving the founder of the project, two of the warriors (one a current KU student) and the mother and caregiver for one. Behind-the-scenes tours of the institute’s archives will be available, and a special fly-over will conclude the activities.
At the second, this coming Tuesday, (perhaps fittingly held at KU’s Lied Center adjacent to the Dole Institute) 17 local individuals who are members of the Lawrence Police Department, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will be recognized.
The event, kicking off at 11:30 a.m., is the annual Lawrence Valor Public Safety Awards Luncheon program. It recognizes heroism and acts of selflessness by members of the local departments. Retired astronaut Jim Reilly will speak. The program is sponsored by the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and NIC Inc., headed by Lawrence resident Harry Herington, who deserves credit for initiating the local program, which provides scholarship funds.
It’s almost impossible to say “thank you” to members of the armed services and our local law enforcement personnel and first responders often enough, publicly enough and with enough heartfelt conviction. Participation in these commendable events is one small and meaningful way.