For those without a planned memorial destination who are yearning for a more poignant, live experience on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Conyers First United Methodist Church is hosting a special service, “Some Gave All, All Gave Some,” from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. this Sunday.
The Rockdale County Fire and Rescue Department has been instrumental in the planning of the remembrance, particularly battalion Capt. Joel Yoder and Lt. David Carter. “Our desire was to collaborate and have them help with
the layout of the service,” said CFUMC Director of Evangelism Debbie Golden. “It has been a pleasure working with them.”
During the service, the Color Guard will be on hand for the tolling of the bells at the significant times. “Remembering the time the two towers collapsed is when most firefighters lives were lost in the line of duty so we do the tolling of the bells, kind of like the 21-gun salute,” said Lt. Carter. “It goes back to the times of the old telegraph boxes, if you needed help you didn’t dial 9-1-1, you picked up the telegraph, and they would type out a code and that’s how they dispatched trucks.”
Along with the fire department’s presence, bagpipes and selections from the Chancel Choir, there will be scripture readings from some with close ties to the military. Nate Pulliam, a West Point alumnus whose son-in-law, 2nd Lt. Dimitri del Castillio, was recently killed in action near Pakistan and Dr. Carter Rogers, who was in Iraq on a 90-day deployment with the Army Reserves this time last year, will be among the readers. Megan Elliott, a 16-year-old choir member, who has two brothers in the military will join them too. Even the Cub Scouts have been involved decorating the church’s perimeter with flags –one of the best moments in the process so far for Golden.
All first responders and public servants have been invited and encouraged to don their uniforms. “We had a desire to express our patriotism and love for our community,” said Golden, “Looking at this anniversary coming up and realizing it can really draw a lot of emotions we wanted to provide a place and something meaningful …a way to be together and not isolated.” Among those who are scheduled to attend are County Commissioners Richard Oden and JaNice Van Ness, Sheriff Jeff Wigington and City Councilman Vince Evans.
Minister Dr. John Beyers said this service is dedicated to “remember those whose lives were lost as we remember those who gave their lives willingly to save others and as we pray God’s blessings upon our county and join our voices with the message of the angels - peace on Earth, good will toward all.” In that vein, he also looks forward to exploring the truth of Islam over the next three Sundays. “Many of us have been living in fear and with unresolved hatred for Muslim people…I believe it is time to voice, confront and overcome those fears.”
Music will begin at 9:15 a.m., and a live stream video will be set up in the student center to handle overflow. The United Methodist Women will host a reception immediately following the service. Conyers First UMC is located at 921 N. Main St. in Conyers. For more information, visit www.conyersfirstumc.org.
Crosspoint Christian Church will also hold a service to honor servicemen on Sept. 11, at 10:30 a.m. The church is located at the corner of Oglesby Bridge and Ga. Highway 20.
More than 30 area churches also contacted the Rockdale County Fire and Rescue looking for ways to help and honor first responders, according to Chief Franklin Wilson.
Salem Interact serves on Sept. 10
Salem High School students with the Interact Club and the Rockdale Rotary will commemorate this year’s ten year mark of Sept. 11 with volunteer service.
The students and Rotary members will be cleaning up and beautifying the campus of Salem High School as part of the wider Hands On Atlanta “9/11 Days of Service” campaign.
Volunteers will build benches, assemble picnic tables, construct a memorial garden, and re-paint the school parking lot lines. Members of the public are welcome to join but youth volunteers must be at least 10-years-old with adult supervision.
Heritage High School donates
The students at Heritage High School are showing how much those who gave their lives on that day remain on their minds by gathering donations for the Brooklyn-based FDNY Fire Engine 214, Ladder 111 crew, also known as "the Nuthouse."
Following Sept. 11, 2001, Heritage reached out to the fire station, and on the fifth anniversary raised enough funds to provide a Honey Baked Ham dinner for the firemen and the families of the firefighters from that station that died on 9/11.
The students at Heritage are once again raising funds for a Honey Baked Ham dinner for this Sunday.
Students collected funds during lunch Thursday and Friday and at Patriots' football game against Loganville on Friday night. As of Friday afternoon, $197 was raised towards Sunday's dinner.
A Career Center Coordinator at the school had a friend who knew a firefighter at the Nuthouse, and became inspired to reach out.
For more information, call 770-483-5428, ext. 152 or go to http://www.fdnynuthouse.com/911.html