First responders honored at dinner ahead of 9/11

South Jacksonville Presbyterian thanks police, firefighters with special meal

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Members of South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church Hendricks Avenue honored first responders at their weekly Wednesday night dinner before Sunday, which marks 15 years since the Sept.11 terror attacks. 

The group donned red, white and blue at the meal, which was dedicated to more than 30 firefighters and police officers in a special show of appreciation.

Pastor Bruce Hedgepeth said they wanted to thank the men and women who put their lives in danger to protect the community. 

"Since this is the Wednesday closest to Sept. 11, we want to invite local police and firefighters just to thank them for their service to the community and to remember the service of police and firefighters so close to the anniversary of 9/11," Hedgepeth said. 

The honorees dined on a dinner of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, watermelon and apple pie. They were also treated to patriotic songs sung by preschoolers. 

Hedgepeth said the church will pause for silent remembrance and prayer during their services Sunday for the first responders in New York who died trying to save others during the terror attacks.

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