First Responders Put Us First

In honor of National First Responders Day (Oct. 28), we wanted to thank all who enter this career of service and the selfless work they do to protect our communities. National First Responders Day recognizes the heroic men and women who make it their business to take immediate action when disaster strikes. A first responder is a person with specialized training who is among the first to arrive and provide assistance or incident resolution at the scene of an emergency. First responders typically include law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and firefighters. These careers require a commitment to the safety and well-being of others—sometimes, at the risk of losing their own lives to save yours. Just imagine what life would be like without these brave souls—we owe them a great deal of gratitude for their career choice.

Who can forget watching the courageous firefighters run into the Twin Towers on 9/11? The only thing on their minds was saving people. Think about it, they ran toward the chaos and the unknown to try and save as many lives as possible. So many of them have perished, if not during the event, later on due to the lingering effects of the toxic poisons they inhaled in the burning wreckage. None of them were thinking about the hazards—they just focused on their goal of saving people in harm's way.

Real Heroes

These are the truest of heroes. Not the kind that you see the mainstream media fawn over like ‘the first Hispanic, transgender, left-handed, red-haired, blind, Buddhist immigrant to become Secretary of State.

These are the truest of heroes. Not the kind that you see the mainstream media fawn over like ‘the first Hispanic, transgender, left-handed, red-haired, blind, Buddhist immigrant to become Secretary of State.’ Their worship of identity over actual selfless actions shows how far our society has strayed from honoring what is of real value. These ‘identity heroes’ will not be the first ones in line to save their lives. Who will they look to for a lifeline when in need? America’s first responders.

What is a hero? The Cambridge Dictionary defines a hero as a person who is admired for having done something very brave or having achieved something great. Maybe you wanted to be a police officer of firefighter when you were a child—why? Because they were actual heroes to you. They ran into burning buildings, rescued the damsel in distress, got the bad guys, saved the kitten in the tree. These are all acts of selflessness and bravery. But the world has changed, and we’ve gotten so far away from valuing what is honorable and good, that many kids nowadays look up to Tik Tok influencers who pull stunts like running on top of parked cars or ransacking a department store just for fun rather than those who save the innocent who are being hurt by these pranks? Spoiler alert—it's not the kids glued to their phones. We have to do better in teaching our kids who to admire; the real heroes who they might someday need to save their own life.

Supporting First Responders in Your Community

Thank heaven there are many who value our first responders and provide support—not only to them, but also to the families of those who have fallen while performing their duties. Tunnels To Towers Foundation It is a great example of an organization dedicated to helping first responders and veterans. Born out of the deep personal loss of his firefighter brother Stephen on 9/11, Frank Siller founded Tunnels to Towers.

On September 11, 2001, Stephen, who was assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1, had just finished his shift and was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Upon hearing the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later. He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear.

Stephen drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, he strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back, and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he gave up his life while saving others.

This pivotal event was the driving force behind starting the Tunnels To Towers Foundation. Stephen’s tragic death would not ever be forgotten, and his brother Frank was determined to bring something good out of his brother’s sacrifice. Especially since Stephen lived by the encouraging and inspirational phrase from St. Francis of Assisi, “while we have time, let us do good.”

Tunnels to Towers is now nationally known and provides many programs, national events and ways to fundraise in your own communities. You can also donate directly to this organization that has given so much back to our first responders.

This is just one organization that supports our first responders. In addition to Tunnels To Towers, Mammoth Nation has several other charities on board that are dedicated to first responders, veterans, and their families. Click here and scroll down to see all of them.

Keep in mind that your membership fees and many of the items you purchase support these organizations. Also, several of our merchants are or were first responders or veterans, so buying their products also goes to the cause.

We are incredibly grateful to all first responders for their dedication and willingness to putting their lives on the line to save those in need. When you run into a local police officer, firefighter or EMT, thank them for their service. They appreciate the acknowledgement that they so deserve. And the next time you read about the latest mainstream darling being touted as a ‘hero’ remember who the real heroes are and keep them in your prayers!