First-responders given a holiday to call their own

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BOSTON – Sunday marks a new holiday in Massachusetts, after Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday signed a bill designating the Sunday before Patriot’s Day as “First Responder Day.”

“First responders put their own lives on the line to save others in danger, and we have a responsibility to ensure they receive strong leadership, representation and recognition on Beacon Hill,” Baker said in a statement. “Every day, these brave men and women and their families provide extraordinary service to the Commonwealth. We strive to follow their example and will use this occasion every year to recommit ourselves to doing so.”

Sponsored by Wilmington Democrat Rep. Jim Miceli, the bill grew out of an idea from Tewksbury town moderator and former selectman Jerry Selissen.

Miceli said in a statement that he “couldn’t think of a better time” for Baker to sign the bill. Friday is the anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Though the bill originally proposed a day in March for First Responder Day, Selissen told the News Service he liked the idea of tying the holiday to Patriot’s Day.

“I think it’s going to give us an opportunity to stop and reflect about what transpired on Patriot’s Day three years ago, and hopefully those people are going to be there to help us long into the future,” he said after the bill passed the House earlier this month.

Written by Katie Lannan