SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In a time of crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, essential workers deserve to be praised for their job.
One South San Jose neighborhood wanted to do just that by thanking first responders and health care workers with a special parade.
The sounds of sirens and cheers of thanks rang through the Kiowa Circle neighborhood Friday morning.
Dozens of families celebrated front line workers who are serving our community during the coronavirus pandemic.
"It kind of felt like for one moment, we weren't in a shelter-in-place," Kiowa Circle resident Jessica Robles said. "I almost started crying. It was almost kind of surreal. We were saying thank you to them, then to have them say thank you back to us, it just really kind of touches you. It reminds you that they are human and they deserve to be thanked just like everyone else."
"This uncertainty has really united our community," Kiowa Circle resident Mike Peterson said. "We're really proud of our neighborhood and community. I think some people took this really serious. They were working 3 or 4 days before the parade to get everything ready. We just wanted to say thank you. There's a lot going on in the world and this was something that really brought everyone together."
The neighbors decorated the streets with American flags, sidewalk chalk and many posters thanking all these brave men and women.
More than a dozen members of the San Jose Fire Department, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department, San Jose Police Department and various health care workers drove through the thirty-minute parade.
ABC7 News South Bay Community Journalist Dustin Dorsey knows the street well as he grew up on Kiowa.
"Growing up in this neighborhood I always felt the sense of love and community from the neighbors," Dorsey said. "Today these local heroes felt the love as well. My dad helped put this on and I am proud of my entire childhood street."
"I really came out here to represent my brothers and sisters from my hospital," San Jose Regional Medical Center Nurse Titia Farrales said. "I didn't expect to cry. I expected to come out here and wave and be happy, but it was so overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who put this together."
"It gives us a sense of togetherness that I hope will stay," San Jose Police Officer Denise Alvarez. "We're getting acknowledgment for doing our job, which we committed to, but we are also getting the recognition of the sacrifices that it may take to do this job. Hopefully, it builds our morale as a team of officers and first responders in the area. It really reinforces why I do what I do and why I chose this career path to serve this community where I grew up and lived all my life."
Words may not do justice for how the community truly feels for local heroes.
But still, we say thank you.
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