Editors, Vineyard Gazette;

With an opportunity to reflect on our Island response to the humanitarian crisis — and it was a crisis by the very definition as a time of difficulty, trouble, or danger where important decisions must be made — I am drawn to a phrase I read somewhere which states: “Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.”

The beautiful people in our private and public safety community sprang into action and responded admirably, not seeking public attention, only to pitch in and help. But I feel it is my obligation to recognize specific individuals, whose essential public safety efforts were below the noise and vitriol, away from the politics and the media frenzy.

In particular, I would like to recognize Oak Bluffs fire chief Nelson Wirtz, whose leadership during the response made all the difference. He was a beacon of light in the fog of confusion and apprehension, and he took charge and directed the necessary services to where they were needed.

Kevin Brennan, acting as EOC services coordinator, tirelessly organized Chief Wirtz and my thoughts and directives getting goods, services and personnel to where they could best be utilized.

I also want to thank Edgartown fire chief Alex Schafer, who worked in the background to coordinate boots on the ground and manage the wave of support into Edgartown proper, and Dukes County manager Martina Thorton who also played an active role in organizing and deploying service like Red Cross and Salvation Army to our migrants.

DCSO, E911 regional emergency communications and IT tech officers Anthony Gould and Forest Filler, ensured seamless communication between public safety and community leaders. DCSO public relations officer Heather Arpin and EOC PIO Jennelle Gadowski kept the public informed at great personal peril throughout the crisis, as they were attacked on multiple media forums incessantly by cowardice trolls and hatemongers, merely because they provided the message Nelson and I presented.

Beth Folcarelli, CEO of MVCS, immediately assessed the situation when 50 migrants were dropped off in her parking lot and reached out to her public safety partners and me to provide assistance, then went to work in marshalling the necessary services of her agency to address the crisis.

Father Chip Seadale, who opened his Episcopal church doors and welcomed our guests with open arms.

Richie Smith provided a safe area in the regional high school while we assessed the situation and arrange for alternative accommodations.

Cong. Bill Keating, Sen. Julian Cyr and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito were some of the first calls I made to our state and federal partners, who did not hesitate in immediately springing into action and beginning the process of garnering state and federal aide to our shores.

Secretary of EOPS Terry Reidy and EOHHS secretary Marylou Sudders developed a plan and executed the transfer of our migrant guests to Joint Base Cape Cod, ensuring a seamless transfer and necessary state services were made available upon their arrival.

There are so many more unsung heroes and I apologize if I am remiss in recognizing them here; you are all beautiful people.

Humanity is defined as characteristics that belong uniquely to human beings, such as kindness, mercy and sympathy. The Island has expressed its humanity both in action and deed. I am truly humbled and honored to serve as sheriff of Martha’s Vineyard and as an officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Sheriff Robert W. Ogden

County of Dukes County