Mortgage burning was bittersweet

The smell of burning paper filled the Pelham Civic Complex ballroom April 11, as the city of Pelham hosted a mortgage burning ceremony to celebrate paying off the mortgage for the Davis family home.

Following the murder of Pelham Police officer Philip Davis on Dec. 3, 2009, Mayor Don Murphy, Police Chief Tommy Thomas and Pelham First Baptist Church Pastor Mike Shaw decided the best way to help Davis’ widow, Paula, and her two small children was to pay off the mortgage of the family’s home.

This idea originated after several Pelham Police officers’ wives approached Shaw to express their concern for the Davis family’s future.

That idea blossomed into a county and statewide effort that raised more than $200,000 in just 35 days.

Because of the selfless nature of all who gave to this cause, the Davis family will now not have to worry about affording a roof over their heads.

This was the least that we could do to help support a family that paid the ultimate price.

The April 11 mortgage-burning ceremony was bittersweet in that it closed a joyous, yet sad, time in our county’s history.

Each day, police officers, firefighters, soldiers and other emergency responders around the county and the world risk their lives for the protection and safety of each of us.

Davis did just that Dec. 3, and we are all forever indebted to his family for his service.

We should all thank each and every emergency responder for what they do, and pray that we never have to burn another mortgage.