NEWBERRY — The Newberry County Council on Aging and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of the Midlands recently hosted a Service of Honor and Remembrance to recognize Newberry County first responders.
Launched in 2002, the event promotes taking part in charitable services on 9/11 as well as paying tribute to victims, survivors and service members who responded to the attacks, while also recognizing their work throughout the community.
The bipartisan 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act designated Sept. 11 the National Day of Service and Remembrance, working collaboratively with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the nonprofit MyGoodDeed.
Fruit and refreshments were given to the first responders along with thank you notes written by RSVP volunteers from the Newberry County Council on Aging senior centers. Around 75-80 thank you cards were given to first responders, thanking them for their service and their contributions to the community.
“I think events like these brings the community closer and shows that we are all human and out there to assist people in any way we can,” City Police Chief Roy McClurkin said.
McClurkin also said simple gestures such as stopping a law enforcement officer, saying thank you, giving a thank you card or simply expressing concern can go a long way.
“We are out there to keep the community safe and all officers want to do is keep the community safe and come home safe at the end of the day. A police officer has a job to do just like everyone else and we are all human and out there to serve and protect our community. If I don’t know your concerns, how can I fix it?”
Newberry Fire Chief Keith Minick said events like the Service of Honor and Remembrance, held Sept. 22, brings the community together.
“And to have the community support of law enforcement and first responders and for 9/11 is a great feeling,”he said.
Minick said that although the “thank you” cards were appreciated, people will often drop off food baskets and goodies to say thanks.
“But the support and a simple thank you is enough,” said Minick.
When asked what his favorite part about his job is, Minick said, “The rewarding feeling of doing something good for somebody and giving back to the community is what I love most.”
To become involved, post volunteer opportunities on Serve.gov or follow Serve.gov on Twitter and use the #911day hashtages in your tweets. This year, Americans in numerous communities honored 9/11 by holding food drives, assisting with home repairs, neighborhood cleanups and disaster preparation activities.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.