On the weekend of the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, Southlake Baptist Church hosted its first annual First Responders Appreciation Day. The church took time to remember the tragic events, the loss that our nation experienced, and the bravery of first responders nationwide on that tragic day and since.
“September 11 is a day of significant remembrance to Americans, and we all have images imprinted in our minds- images of hundreds of first responders wading upstream through a river of thousands of fleeing victims to save those who couldn’t save themselves,” said Pastor Clayton Reed. “And while we are aware of the men and women who served in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, we know that we have a group of men and women in Southlake and surrounding areas who each day arrive first upon scenes of tragedy. Therefore, Southlake Baptist decided, on this anniversary weekend, to host an event to honor our community’s first responders.”
More than 30 uniformed policemen, fire fighters, emergency medical team members and several of their families attended the Sunday service where they were publicly thanked and honored by the church. The church thanked Southlake Fire Chief Mike Starr and Police Chief Robert Finn for their service and honored their departments with plaques presented by Pastor Clayton Reed and Pastor Zack Polyak.
Polyak, who introduced the chiefs, said, “ Police Chief Robert Finn has been a public servant of this city for 23 years and has worn several different hats during the course of his career.” He added, “Fire Chief Mike Starr has also been here a long time; he’s served with the city for 14 years, and Starr and his department are always striving for improvement and excellence. These two men have given 37 excellent years of combined service in many different capacities to our city, and we were privileged to honor them.”
Each first responder received a special gift as a token of the church’s appreciation for their service to the city. After the service, firemen parked fire trucks and ambulances for children to see. Children enjoyed touring a fire truck and watching as firefighters explained and demonstrated equipment.