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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Church to honor emergency responders

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bee Ridge Congregational Church Deacon Cody Barnard has only attended the church for a few years.

But he wanted to give back to area emergency responders and believed putting together an event to remember the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, was a great idea.

With the help of members of the congregation, Barnard managed to put together the "9-11 Thank You Dinner/Memorial Service."

The event took place for the first time last year and was conducted on the church grounds, located at 10100 N. Kennedy's Crossing Rd., Brazil.

This year, Barnard said the event has expanded and will take place Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Cow Palace in Forest Park.

"Last year, we kept it to just Clay County (emergency responders), not knowing what kind of response we would have," Barnard told The Brazil Times. "This year, we have expanded it. We wanted a bigger place to accommodate people.

"A big concern was parking. The parking lot (at the church) was not big enough to accommodate people."

Barnard said approximately 30-40 emergency responders attended last year's event, but he believes more will be on-hand this year.

Local emergency responders and law enforcement -- along with their families -- are invited to take part in the event, which Barnard said is "essentially a thank you to all local responders who put their lives on the line each day to protect residents."

The event will also remember Sept. 11, 2001, and the lives lost.

A picnic-style dinner will be served, beginning at 5 p.m. Barnard said the meal last year was more formal.

"It was more of dinner," he said. "We had a meal, basically. This year, the church felt, 'Let's just keep it simple,' since we're going to be at the park, with the picnic-style."

He said members of the congregation would serve hamburgers and hot dogs, among other picnic-style delicacies.

"They're going to help cook the meal and serve the food," Barnard said. "Without the church congregation, this would be very hard to pull off.

A special Memorial Service will begin at 6 p.m., and last 60-90 minutes. Barnard said this year's guest speaker will be Indiana Rep. Nancy Michael (D-Greencastle).

In addition, Gerald Scott Flint, director of Volunteer Medics Worldwide (VMW), located in Brazil, will make a return appearance. He was last year's guest speaker and one of the many emergency responders who were at Ground Zero in New York City. Flint also helped at the Pentagon.

Flint will share stories from the event and will also perform, "Hero Before He Died," a song he recorded in honor of United States Air Force Bomb Technician Tsgt. Phillip Myers, who was killed in Southern Afghanistan April of 2009.

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