Local Church Honors Local Fire and Policemen

By: Kristina Hamilton Email
By: Kristina Hamilton Email

As the anniversary for the September 11th terrorist attacks quickly approaches, one local church hasn't forgotten the more than 400 police officers and firefighters who were killed in the line of duty.

Sunday morning, the Panama City Church of the Nazarene in St. Andrews put their normal Sunday church service on hold in order to recognize the American tragedy, as well as honor local police and fire crews.

Everything from the sermon to the music to the slide show, and even the food, reflected the congregation's sense of gratitude for the dedicated who serve every day in Panama City.

Pastor Jim Purl, who sponsored the event, says it's just as important to remember the September 11th attacks as it is to remember the local servicemen who are the hands and feet of our community.

Some of the servicemen say they were overwhelmed with the church's kindness.

Captain Shawn Boyett with the Panama City Fire Dept. said, "It's about us, is what touches me the most. I mean, we live our lives about the public, and it's kind of good every once and a while to have it about us."

Chief John Van Etten added, "Oh, it's humbling and we really appreciate the church coming out and the chaplains that work for the PCFD, and that volunteer as chaplains that work for the PCPD. They've done a tremendous job for us and to step up and say, ‘Hey, we just want to tell you thanks,’ it's a great feeling and wonderful fellowship from everyone."

This is the fourth year in a row the Church of Nazarene hosted the September 11th anniversary service. Between all three attacks, almost 3,000 people lost their lives at the hands of terrorists.

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