In the spirit of remembrance, Taos Middle School welcomed first responders in the area to its second annual appreciation breakfast. This year's event honored the late Gerard Martinez, a Taos firefighter.
Taking a short breakfast break out of their day, members of New Mexico State Police; the town of Taos' police, fire and emergency medical services departments; Taos County Sheriff's Office; and others were presented with a thank-you breakfast beginning around 9 a.m. Monday (Sept. 11) at the cafeteria at TMS.
The middle school has hosted the event to show appreciation to the men and women who respond to crimes, emergencies and community needs and does so on Sept. 11 to tie the event to national events, honoring the first responders who lost their lives 16 years ago.
"When we were planning this, somebody said 9/11 would be an appropriate date," said Alfred Cordova, principal of Taos Middle School. "When everyone was running away from the towers, emergency responders were running right to them."
Food science students prepared the pancakes, sausage and other morning favorites. The students also served and collected dishes for the event. Several members of the staff were also involved. However, the event was largely run by students.
During the breakfast, students were allowed to come out of class and eat breakfast with their heroes and family who work in the police, sheriff, fire and EMS departments. All entities around the area were invited to take part in the event. Cordova also invited the Hondo-Seco Fire Department and emergency responders from Taos Pueblo.
"It's very much student driven," said Cordova. "This just shows emergency responders that we all care."
Music for the event was provided by members of the TMS mariachi group, who had a short amount of time to prepare several songs for the event. In addition, members of the TMS student government spoke, extending a thanks to the men and women present.