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GIVING THANKS



Published: Thu, November 22, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



GIVING THANKS

The Vindicator asked some local police officers and firefighters what they have to be thankful for today.

"I'm thankful for a country that is free. I'm thankful for my family. And I'm deeply appreciative of the fathers and mothers who have sent their sons and daughters to defend my nation."

-- Lt. Felipe Romain, Warren City Fire Department, Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam era.

"I'd have to say my kids."

-- Sgt. Robert D. Magnuson, Canfield police, who has four children ages 7 to 20.

"The way the country has come together, and the president's initiative as far as a quick resolve. ... That we live in this country and that we're not going through what they are in some Middle Eastern countries."

Patrolman David Talbert, Salem police.

"I think most people are thinking about what happened [on Sept. 11] and it makes you think how lucky we are to be a free country. ... But also, our family and friends ... just being able to have those people to turn to when you need somebody."

Rick Pellin Jr., Milton Township fire chief and emergency medical worker at Pellin Ambulance Service Inc.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity to be with family. ... I realize there are people abroad who won't be with their family. The ladies and gentlemen of our armed services aren't going to have the luxury of going home ... and being with their brothers and sisters."

-- Tim Heitzer, Austintown firefighter, who will gather with his sister and three brothers in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The group postponed their Thanksgiving celebration because Heitzer works today.

"My family of course. ... I just give my kids their extra hugs. I do that a lot more now."

Sgt. Joe O'Grady, Warren City Police Department, who has five children, ages 7 to 21.

"That my brother is safe. ... No doubt, that's the main thing."

-- Sgt. Cristobal Ruiz, Canfield police, whose brother Washington Ruiz is an officer in the New York City Police Department 30th Precinct, Bronx, N.Y., was working Sept. 11 and could have been called to the World Trade Center disaster.




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