Service honors 9/11 victims, all first responders
Published 2:39 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2016
By JENNIFER MAIER / Community Columnist
Columbiana United Methodist Church held a special service on Sunday, September 11th to remember the lives that were lost in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center that took place 15 years ago.
The service also served as a way to honor and thank all first responders that help make our community a safer place to live.
Pastor Buster Timmons reflected on the tragedy that took place on that fateful day, and gave praise to those that gave their lives to save others.
The congregation heard testimony from church member Evan Major, who had high praise for local first responders that assisted when his house caught fire and burned on Nov. 23 of this past year. Major, with his wife Linda, were able to escape unharmed, but their historic home was a total loss.
“On November the 23rd we learned first-hand how marvelous our public service first responders can be. From the 911 lady who would not hang up the telephone until she knew we were out of the house and safe, to the firefighters that came and found us, and made sure no one else was in the house,” Major said.
Firefighters were able to retrieve personal belongings, allowing the Majors to save items they had collected over the years.
Former Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry was a special guest for the service. Curry addressed the congregation and expressed his gratitude to all those that serve the community.
“The chance for me to be here and say how proud I am of the first responder community in our county is amazing,” Curry said.
“Those that come into it for a paycheck and for the benefits don’t stay, because the personal costs are way too high,” he said. “There are sights you see that you can’t un-see. There is trauma and tragedy. This is a calling from God. Without the strength of your faith it will consume you.”
Regardless of the circumstances, first responders focus on helping out during the most difficult times one can imagine, like the events of September 11, 2001.
“First responders are always there to help, and they don’t ask ‘do you live here?’” Curry said. “They are there because you need help and they are going to do everything in their power to save your life, treat your injuries, protect you from others, solve your problem, hold your hand, and let you know that someone cares. You are in their protective arms.”
The poignant service concluded as “Go Light Your World” was sung by special guest Paula Head.