Church Service Honors First Responders


FISHERSVILLE -- A Valley church remembers the lives of the first responders who died on Sept. 11, 2001, while honoring first responders still serving, as tensions across the world begin to escalate once again.

David Price is a member of the Waynesboro First Aid Crew. But after Sept. 11, 2001, he went to New York with some fellow volunteers to help in the clean-up and rescue effort. He calls it the hardest work he has ever done.

"We [were] working all day long," Price said. "And just the mental status of being there, of what happened, and how many people lost there lives. The mental thing got to a lot of us."

Twelve years after the attack, Fishersville United Methodist Church is still making sure people do not forget the sacrifice and service of first responders.

"In America we have short memories," said Rev. Ryan Oswald, FUMC's associate pastor. "We're a McDonald's culture. Things tend to fade from memory quick. So this is one way we can keep that right out in front."

Marla Graff Decker, Virginia's Secretary of Public Safety, spoke at Sunday's service, saying that respect for first responders is as important today as it was 12 years ago.

"Those people who gave up their lives on 9/11 did it for a purpose: the same purpose that these folks do it for, day in and day out," she said.

Rev. Oswald said people can find in circumstances today a renewed purpose, a fresh reason, for being thankful.

"With what's going on in Syria now, we'll have the president speaking to us this week and everything, and all the tensions around the world, we have to remember these first responders and their families who lay everything aside to do this," he said.


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