A Gulfport church paid tribute to the people who dedicate themselves to making the community and the world safe during its annual Blue and White Sunday celebration. Every year, Bible Baptist congregation recognizes firefighters, police officers and emergency workers from across the area as well as military personnel. This year many of the public safety workers who would have normally attended the ceremony couldn't make it because they're overseas defending American interests.
Brenda Cutter is standing in for her son David Barringer who can't be here to accept his recognition as a Gulfport firefighter because he's in Iraq fulfilling his obligation as a Marine.
"That would make any mother proud to know her son just wants to give whatever he can of himself to help others," said Cutter. "Now that he's had to leave the firefighters and he's doing active duty now with his Marine family that makes me even more proud."
Barringer is just one of many public safety workers on the coast called to active duty. While they're away some of their fellow firefighters and police officers say they'll honor them by continuing to man the home front.
Gulfport policeman Bradley Walker said "This is our war front right here. While the soldiers are overseas this is our war front right here in our community to make sure it's safe."
The congregation says they're praying for the safe return of the troops in the Middle East and reaching out to their families.
"We find that in a time like this that people are searching and that makes the word of God very relevant in this day especially with the uncertainties of what is taking place in the middle east," said Reverend Harold Payne.
Reverend Payne says now is a time to let public safety workers and the troops know that no matter what the community is behind them.