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Sandy 'Unsung Heros' Lauded in Letter

Local resident thanks those workers from many states who answered call to help restore power for the area.

Editor's Note: The following open letter was submitted to Patch.

To Our Unsung Heros!
We were driving home from Pittsburgh on Route 80 yesterday, and we saw caravans of Cherry Pickers on their way back to Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, etc. I realized that these people had come all this way to help us in N.J.! Mind you — it felt like we didn't have much help at times, but seeing the number of trucks that day was a reminder that N.J. did have much help from across the country!

I decided today to thank any of the people in town working to restore our power! I chatted with a few men from Indiana in the Kings parking lot as they rested in their truck and told them how grateful I was. They admitted they were exhausted and so I gave them a 10-dollar bill and said, "Go get a cup of coffee — courtesy of the great state of New Jersey!"

Later I saw a young man in a truck from Georgia. He said he may be up North for Thanksgiving. I then passed a truck (pictured above) from Tennessee. I realized that I am truly grateful to these men/women for coming all this way to help us out. I encourage those of us who have our power-to take time to thank these unsung heros-buy them a cup of coffee or a bite of lunch — or even just honk and say "thanks"!  These are the folks who got our town up and running and I am truly grateful!

Debbie Graves,

Basking Ridge, NJ

Cathy November 12, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I had the same experience yesterday returning from Saint Louis via I-70. There was a steady stream of utility trucks, most returning to Ohio. It makes you realize how important it is to have neighbors, even if they are long distance. We should all be grateful to these guys who worked tirelessly to get our power back up. All things considered, we are a lucky bunch!
Dale Burke November 12, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I had the same experience on Wednesday returning from VA to BVL in PA. Passed four tractor trailers with telephone poles. I then passed 27 utility trucks from Indiana and gave them all the thumbs up. At a road stop I thanked the many men from Indiana and in NJ at the Parsippant Marriott there were several men from Ohio and, again, thanked them for coming.
Nancy November 12, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Thank you for a fine letter! I have previously lauded PIKE who were in my area on Thursday. They were incredible. They came in the AM and world systematically. They were obviously well-organized and managed the repairs with thoroughness and expertise. I watched them and was amazed. I immediately sent a note to their company and thanked them accordingly. I wish we could change from JCP&L who could not even communicate the situation; nevermind put a plan in place. It was not until the out of state trucks arrived that anything was accomplished. This was the same story in the past.
Jonas Grumby November 12, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Sorry, but I'll save the word "hero" for our troops getting shot and killed every day AND who are making a lot less than the line workers AND who won't be home for the holidays.
Miles November 12, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Tree cutters for Asplundh make $24/hour.
Debbie Graves November 12, 2012 at 10:12 PM
It was never my intention to slight our troops who are heroes 365 days a year-but rather to bring recognition to a group of men/women who helped our state through a rough time. I apologize to you if your mis-read my intentions.
Steven Smith November 13, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Ridiculous statement Jonas. One thing has nothing to do with another. There are heroes in all walks of life, in all circumstances. So yes, these ulitity workers are the heroes of the day - saving us all from many miserable cold nights!
Jonas Grumby November 13, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Not buying it, Steve. I don't think you get to be a hero just for showing up. The word has become devalued enough by the media.
cat November 14, 2012 at 12:13 AM
what have you done for the world jonas grumby? this was a lovely message in thanks for those who serve others, military, volunteers, and those who traveled miles to help NJ in their time of need.Thanks to all who make this world a better place. Shame on Mr. Grumby.
Jonas Grumby November 14, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Sorry, cat, just don't see them as heroes. Just working stiffs doing their jobs and collecting a paycheck. Should we say thanks? Sure. Buy them a cup of coffee? Go ahead if that rows your boat. Call them heroes? Nope.
Debbie Graves November 14, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Jonas: Perhaps a proper definition of the term used above "unsung hero" may help you. I called this group of people "unsung heroes" not "heroes". The definition of "unsung hero" is "One who does great deeds but receives little or no recognition for them." Hope that helps!
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