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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Recognizing our heroes

Thursday, September 11, 2003

In recognition of 9/11, some of those who work to protect and serve the public were honored with a free lunch today. Seated, left: Brazil City Firefighter Jake Bennett, Brazil City Patrolman Marty Beasley and Advanced EMT from Athens Ambulance Service Melanie Smith. Standing, left: EMT Eddie Treadway, Brazil City Patrolman Andy Whittington, Brazil Detective Sgt. Mark Loudermilk, Clay County Deputy Brian Pierce and Brazil City Firefighter Jim Smith.

Loyalty for our country increases at certain times of the year. Now added to Independance Day, Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Day, patriotism swells on Sept. 11.

Memories are still fresh of the savage loss of innocent lives at the World Trade Center two years ago. Many people still have flashbacks of firemen and policemen running to help the wounded, knowing that hundreds of those men and women died for their efforts.

Whether accurate or not, many Americans tie the war in Iraq with the 9/11 attack. Almost daily reports of another U.S. soldier being killed in the Iraqi conflict makes American hearts weep and keep patriotic feelings high.

Sept. 11 gives citizens an opportunity to express those emotions and vent their sorrows and hopes.

One such citizen, Mary Hendrickson, lives in both Brazil and Florida. Currently residing in the Sunshine state, Mary felt the need to try to heal some of the wounds inflicted on Clay County from Sept. 11. She wanted to honor the men and women who serve as public servants for our town, county and state.

Mary called Rod Clarke, owner of Eddie's Sandwich Shop, and asked him to decorate his eatery and feed those workers. She and some other Brazilians now in Florida offered to buy lunch for the employees of the Brazil Fire Dept., Brazil City Police Dept., Clay County Sheriff's Dept., Indiana State Police, and the Emergency Medical Personnel.

Clarke's son, Josh, is a Clay County Deputy and his 23rd birthday is today. Rod liked the idea and solicited some help. Mike Howard decorated the facility with an array of red, white and blue flags and banners. Clarke notified the various departments of their gift.

Brazil City Firefighter Jake Bennett was moved by the gesture. "We really appreciate the recognition," he said.

Bennett remembered his feelings of shock and despair that tragic day but is optimistic about the future.

"I know we'll survive," Bennett said. "I hope that future attacks can be prevented without the loss of liberty and a free society."

Mary and her friends, along with most others in the area, hope that the food will nourish the bodies of our public servants and this little act of kindness will help nourish the souls of Brazil, Clay County and America.

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