Emergency personnel honored

Published 9:17 pm Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Supporters arrived showing their spirit and support by wearing team colors and yelling and clapping.

Red, white and blue were the colors and the players were emergency service personnel.

The Sharon Baptist Church of Ironton honored firefighters, police officers and emergency management technicians for their services to the public every day, and specifically Sept. 11, 2001.

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“We want to remember tonight the people who dedicated their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice; the public service workers who gave their lives that day,” Carl Whitley, chief engineer of the Burlington Fire Department, said.

The choir was dressed in vests decorated with stars and stripes and sang “Amazing Grace,” “America the Beautiful,” “My Country Tis of Thee,” and other patriotic songs.

A PowerPoint presentation of photos from Sept. 11 ran during the service and small flags hung on the ends of rows of pews.

Ryan Vaughn, chief of Burlington-Fayette Fire Department, Lawrence County Sheriff James Sexton and Krista Blankenship, a paramedic presented the emergency service workers in attendance with a black wreath representing those who lost their lives during Sept. 11.

“It’s important we keep the people who died that day in our hearts and minds,” Vaughn said. “Little meetings like tonight ensure that we keep our emergency service providers close to our memories.”

Members of the church also thought the service was important to remember the event and acknowledge public service workers.

“This service was to remind us to always remember the loss of the ones who tremendously gave their lives trying to save others and (those) who love and care for humanity,” Reda Jarrell, a South Point resident who belongs to Sharon Baptist Church, said.

Whitley spoke of the obligation public service workers have to citizens.

“We may look a little crazy running into burning houses that people are trying to get out of,” he said. “But, we are trying to protect our fellow men.”

Other poems, songs and facts about Sept. 11 were shared during the service.

Members of Life Ambulance, Patriot Ambulance Services, Burlington-Fayette Fire Department, local police departments were in attendance.

Sunday was the first time Sharon Baptist Church has had a Sept. 11 memorial service.