Custom – United States

As a young child, I was taught to do the Sign of the Cross every time I heard an ambulance.  I vividly recall being in second grade class, with Ms. McCarthy as our substitute teacher for the day, because our actual teacher, Mrs. Moore, was taking a sick day off.  On a hot spring day, our windows were wide open, and we were letting the cool Southern California breeze enter the classroom and cool our sweaty little bodies, exhausted from a good game of kickball at our last recess break.  As we are jus settling into class, a roaring ambulance truck comes speeding down Cochran Ave., blowing right past our elementary school in full force, filling the hallways and classrooms with its continuous loud sound, entering through our open windows.  At that moment, our substitute teacher immediately did the Sign of the Cross.  She then shared with us that, ever since she were a little girl, her parents taught her to do the Sign of the Cross any time she ever heard emergency sirens.  In addition to that, she mentioned that every time she does so, she mutters a quick prayer for whomever may be in need of emergency aid.

Ever since that very day, it has become second-nature for me to automatically perform the motions of the Sign of the Cross whenever I hear an ambulance of any kind—emergency truck or police car, alike.  With religion being so significant in my Roman-Catholic upbringing, I make it a point to say a quick intention for whomever the ambulance is rushing to.  Though it is not exactly a doctrine of my religion to perform such an act, it is nice to practice my faith on my own automatic will, even if for a millisecond or two throughout my daily routine.