Wednesday, Governor Bill Ritter declared Sept. 27 First Responder Appreciation Day, in honor of all men and women who help save others.
On Sept. 27, 2006, SWAT officers stormed a room at Platte Canyon High School where a gunman was holding two girls hostage.
The man killed Emily Keyes.
Officers were able to save the second girl in the room, a German foreign exchange student named Johanna.
Her host parent Tim Gregg has been pushing for a National First Responder Appreciation Day. Gregg will not release Johann's last name, citing privacy concerns.
Gregg says a state-wide recognition is just the first step.
"[It] means a lot to me, just to say thanks to our first responders," Gregg said. "They are our first line of defense here in this country. They have come to my aid personally several times, I don't think we recognize that or say thanks enough for [it]."
The Governor's proclamation is only for one day this year.
"More than anything just say thanks to our first responders. You see a police officer, a firefighter, search and rescue individual, EMS personnel, anybody, just say thank you," Gregg said. "Gonna be great if we turned out lights on our cars drive around, gave a little thumbs up when we see people, just anything, but let these people know how much you appreciate them."
On Sept. 26, the I Love U Guys Foundation, formed by Keyes' parents after her death, will host Emily's Parade, a 45-mile motorcycle ride from Columbine High School to Platte Canyon High School. More than 1,300 motorcycles are expected.
There is also a 5K run at Platte Canyon in tribute of emergency responders nation-wide.
Fore more information on the I Love U Guys Foundation, visit: www.iloveuguys.org.
For more information on the National First Responders Appreciation Day visit: http://www.facebook.com/#!/notes.php?id=332139057427¬es_tab=app_2347471856 or http://1stresponderday.ning.com.
View the Honorary Proclamation for First Responder Appreciation Day.
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