The local public safety personnel from both city and county agencies were thanked for their willingness to serve, as two pastors said, at a time “when we’re running out, they’re running in.”
Second Baptist Church held a program and luncheon, Tuesday morning to honor the local active duty and retired first responders, with men and women from the Griffin Police Department, Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, Spalding County Fire Department and Griffin Fire-Rescue on hand.
The program opened with the singing of several patriotic songs by Scott Berry, including “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful,” and “God Bless the USA.”
Guest speaker was Ron Little, chaplain for the Clayton County Fire Department and pastor of Tara Baptist Church. He thanked Second Baptist for remembering the first responders on Sept. 11.
“These men give one third of their lives away from their families,” he said.
Little also noted the first listed victim 11 years ago in New York City was a chaplain. Little said Fire Department of New York Chaplain Michael Judge was victim 0001, as he was “the first identified fatality, the first to be taken to the morgue.”
Little said Judge left his parish near the twin towers, was administering last rights in the command center when the first tower fell, throwing debris through the lobby of the other tower.
Little said public safety personnel “are an extension of God’s hand and God’s heart. He places you there. He asked you to be there on his account,” he told his fellow first responders.
He thanked those dedicating their lives to serve others and thanked them for their willingness to pursue careers in these fields. In a prayer for the first responders, he thanked God for their safety and the city (and county) for providing them the equipment and training they need.
Second Baptist Senior Pastor David Hill also thanked the first responders and their families. He also asked that “we always remember all those lost 11 years ago, and all those who remain,” and asked God “to bless their families and be there to comfort them.”