I was out for a walk with my boys this morning and I passed this sign on a neighbor’s lawn. The first job on this sign struck me because I had just read that New Jersey has lost its 15th EMT to coronavirus and the 3rd from the same squad in Bergen County.

Next I thought of Israel Tolentino, the first New Jersey firefighter to die from the disease but certainly not the last.

Then police officers. At least a dozen have died in the Garden State of the virus. Recently was Glen Ridge Officer Charles Roberts, who was only 45 years old.

It occurred to me that for every category on this sign were real people who risked their lives each day going about their jobs, and some left behind real families who miss them dearly.

The nurses and doctors in the thick of it working in the ICUs the past months? I can’t even imagine. Other essential workers have been out there knowing they might come across someone infected. But these folks went to work every day in hospitals knowing it for certain and did their jobs anyway, some paying the ultimate price.

We might not all put a sign on our lawns, but essential workers should know we all hold a thank you in our hearts.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.