SPRINGFIELD, NJ — In a show of support for first responders working to keep them safe, township residents participated in a candle lighting and round of applause yesterday evening for the first responders and medical personnel of Springfield.

In order to follow proper social distancing guidelines, the candles and applause came from individual homes all over town, where families have been holed up.

The gesture has been done in other towns as well, with next-door neighbor Union among the towns participating in this area. The candle-lighting and clapping in Springfield took place in the 7:00 p.m. hour.

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For Springfield resident Antoinette Miller, the ceremony was both moving and personal. Miller has two daughters, Samantha and Jessica, who both serve on the first aid squad. Miller admitted that it is nerve-wracking for her when her daughters leave on emergency calls, but the show of support from residents all over town is an incredible gesture.

“It means a great deal," Miller said. "You’re standing out there and you see all the lights being lit and you hear all the clapping and it’s just an emotional time. It brings you to tears, it makes you happy. It’s just a mix of emotions there, and I think by Springfield bonding and banding together to support the local fire, police EMTs – even the medical workers in the hospitals and stuff, it’s amazing."

"It’s really amazing, and it’s heartfelt and I appreciate it all and I think everybody’s just really coming together in this time of need right now,” She added.

In general, along with the candle ceremony, Miller also spoke about the town's actions as the virus has spread, including donations and other acts of charity.

“It means everything really," Miller said. "Just watching and seeing the community come together in desperate times and times of need like this has just been great. I mean, the outpouring of gratitude to the squad, whether it be monetary donation, food donation, supply donations, it’s just been fabulous. It’s been wonderful to see, and I thank all of the local Springfield residents for coming together and just really taking care of the first responders.”