Local church honors first responders on 9/11 anniversary - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local church honors first responders on 9/11 anniversary

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

September 11th of remembrance and unity at Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church as members gather to honor those who sacrificed their lives on this day 15 years ago. 

"We can't forget and there are people that are younger, some probably weren't even born and they need to know again that there is a price to pay for freedom," said Pastor Gary Hathaway. 

It's why Pastor Gary Hathaway and other church members decided to honor local first responders during a special service today. Taking a moment to present a slideshow in honor of the lost heroes of 9-11, and to hand out certificates to firefighters like Edger Patten that represents a token of  appreciation for the sacrifices he faces everyday, one he didn't understand - until he joined the Chattanooga fire department seven years ago. 

"That could've been me. you know that could've happened here. I  could've been one of those people responding that day you know to help save lives and it's just one of those situations where you can go to work that morning, you might not return home that evening or the next day," said Edger Patten.

A reality Lieutenant, Billy Burnette also faces though he says he still struggles looking back on what happened. 

"I've got mixed emotions. I still grief four fellow first responders, for ems, police and their family and all the innocent victims that day," said Burnette.

Sunday's service was hugs and thanks to those who help make our community a safer place, a sight Pastor Hathaway wants to see more often. 

"It's really sad that we have to experience tragedy and loss to come together as a community really as a nation, but still i think it's really good when we do come together," said Pastor Hathaway. 

Looking back many people say despite the 9-11 tragedy our nation is stronger today, but they hope we continue to unite going forward. 

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