For the past week some Clinton Hill residents have been leaving their homes to cheer those First Responders who are battling an unseen enemy while trying to save lives. They came together to “bang the drum” and break the silence with whoops, bells and whistles.
They were neighbors Keth Rice and her son Kody, Linda Vital, Mrs. Harrell and Karina, with her artist daughter Anaisa of Greene Avenue at the intersection of Cambridge, and Lillian Brooks, considered the Mayor of Cambridge Place.
On Monday, Our Time Press heard the exuberant cheering. It started at around 7pm and ended two minutes later.
Tuesday, we joined them. The freedom to escape the cooping and coping of being at home was welcome. A release. A way to exhale.
We naively expected to see a queue of masked medics, weary, but appreciative, rolling down the street from the wars. They were not there.
“We do this to be part of the world,” said Ms. Brooks referring to the applause being heard ‘round the world for emergency providers. “We come together to smile and laugh and clap to show we care about the people on the frontlines as much as they show they care about saving lives at the expense of their own.”
And “after all,” Ms. Vital reminded us, “We have First Responders in our own families. I have three,” she added proudly, speaking of her adult children, all law enforcement professionals.
We quickly calculated that this group of neighbors – by blood or by acquaintance – are associated with about a dozen First Responders in a range of occupations, including emergency care, elder care, medicine, and more. It may not be by accident that the Clinton Hill cul-de-sac of Greene Avenue’s transverse at Cambridge easily resembles a Cross.
“They cry. They break down. But they keep working. They are dealing with stress and pressure. They are protecting us. The least we can do is give them a hand,” Ms. Vital told us.
At the end of the two minutes, a round of applause rippled the air: the neighbors had just received word that residents two blocks east
had decided to join in the evening tributes.
– Bernice Elizabeth Green