GAMBIER — The Fourth of July is always a good excuse for the citizens of Gambier to listen to speeches, have a parade and attend a community picnic. But the highlight of each year’s celebration is the announcing of the Gambier Citizen of the Year. This year’s award went to Dr. Tracy Schermer.
The award was announced by Charles Rice, a retired Kenyon professor and retired member of the College Township Fire Department.
“For almost three decades, his service to the people of this village and the community at large has been so extraordinary that he is awarded this special recognition,” Rice said of Schermer. “One day in 1982, a new employee of the college came to the firehouse and explained he had had some military experience with medical emergencies, and asked if he could ride with the volunteers on a squad run sometime. His credentials indicated he was qualified, and so he began his service to the community immediately. Over the years, he has trained many EMTs throughout the county in sophisticated procedures that have saved scores of lives.
“He continues to apply his special skills to treat seriously ill and injured villagers and students, often before the ambulance appears. He has been selected as the first Citizen of the Year who is not a resident of Gambier. He is that rarest of physicians who will make a house call to save your life and squirt water to save your house. He is Tracy W. Schermer, M.D.”
Before the announcing of the Citizen of the Year, Gambier Mayor Kirk Emmert read his annual patriotic essay about the meaning of the Fourth of July and the freedoms enjoyed by Americans.
“Just prior to the Civil War,” Emmert said, in part, “Lincoln, our greatest president, wrote ‘All honor to Jefferson to the man who in the concrete pressure of a struggle for a national independence by a single person, had the coolness, forecast and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document an abstract truth applicable to all men at all times. That today as in all coming days it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling block to the very harbingers of a reappearing tyranny and oppression.’”
The celebrants also heard from David Hall, Gambier Poet Laureate for 2009.
After the parade, the community was invited by Emmert to the traditional Fourth of July community picnic featuring food, fun and games for the children.