Wiregrass funeral home honors first responders on 9/11

Local News

OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — 9/11 is a day where we remember the first responders who lost their lives during the attack on the World Trade Center, but it’s also a day where we honor those who serve us today.

One Wiregrass funeral home did so by holding their second annual First Responders Luncheon.

“We feel, as a funeral home, you know this is a small part that we’re able to do, honoring those that did give their lives on 9/11,” location manager John Cawley said. “Then, of course, today these that are here helping today, we feel we can honor them for that.”

Upon arriving at Fuqua Bankston Funeral Home, you might have noticed that the flags in the front were staggered in a 3-4-3 formation, and one patriot guard rider said the reason why that was.

“We know we had 343 firefighters that lost their lives on 9/11,” Sr. RC/Flag Captain Jon Paulding said. “So, that’s the 343 of firemen that did lose their lives. We honor them and there are plenty others that were involved in it too, so thank God we’re able to honor them.”

For Paulding, 9/11 is a day where he remembers those who fell and know that he’s blessed to still be here to do that.

“People like me are here because somebody sacrificed something a long time ago rather it was at 9/11 or overseas,” Paulding said. “I just thank god that somebody has laid their life down, and I can do what I’m doing today to honor these others and our first responders, and our 9/11 people that gave so much.”

The Patriot Guard Riders honored the funeral home staff for holding them by giving them a Challenge Coin.

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