SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The streets heading into Bible Baptist Church were lined in red, white and blue for Chatham Country Remembers, a 20th anniversary 9/11 memorial service honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
“Our church was wanting to do something as a community outreach to honor the victims of 9/11, and then tie it in with my chaplains ministry as a outreach to our first responders just a show of appreciation to them,” said Kelly Mcinerney, Senior Pastor of Bible Baptist Church & Chatham Co. PD Chaplain.
First responders in attendance received special honors. The church also presented a $10,000 donation to the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire, an organization that provides immediate financial assistance to the families of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. That includes fully paid college education for all of the surviving family members.
“We’ve responded to 27 line of duty deaths since we started in 2001. We provided over $3.5 million dollars to those families and the most significant way we respond is we provide fully paid college education to the surviving family members, that’s room and board, books, tuition, everything,” said Mark Dana, President of the 200 club of the Coastal Empire.
“We’re so blessed to have had so many family members graduate college because that’s the best we could hope for, and we know that when we have a first responder who’s critically injured and they’re praying to God that they want to make sure somebody’s taking care of their family and that’s where we step up to help,” added Dana.
An important part of 9/11 is remembering. Many use the phrase, “never forget” loosely, but Pastor Mcinerney wants those at home to teach their children about the events that took place that day, and the fact that true evil exists in this world.
“I think it’s important that we teach this generation that, hey let’s not wait for a tragedy or a war of epic proportions like 9/11 to bring us together. Let’s find our commonality now and let’s love our country and let’s serve one another as human beings,” said McInerny.
“Even though it’s 20 years I think it’s very important that this generation knows that that was our pearl harbor moment, and it brought unity. It brought national togetherness and it really united our people.”