Church Service Honors Safety Officers

Saturday nigh several Ocean Springs churches joined together for a special service honoring city and county fire and police departments. It was also a memorial for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks many of whom were firefighters and police. Police, firefighters as well as city and community leaders made this their way along the streets of Ocean Springs knowing this was more than just a casual stroll.

Rev Jesse Trotter Sr. of Macedonia Baptist Church said "It symbolizes freedom, unity, togetherness and hope.Something that will enable our officers to understand that is the policemen and the firemen that they are not alone in this battle."

Trotter says for a long time he'd been thinking about holding an event to show local police and firefighters how much they mean to the city. After September 11th he says it was time to stop thinking and start walking...and several other churches followed.

"I've just been pleased with the reaction from the community and how well our churches work together in this community," said Ocean Springs mayor Seren Ainsworth. "I think it shows the character of the community."

Police say that the renewed support they've received since September 11th has made an already good relationship with the public better.

Ocean Springs police chief Kerry Belk said "I think it's something that's going to continue as long as we keep in our hearts and minds the reasons that we're doing this for each other and we keep that spark alive."

To make sure people don't lose sight of the sacrifices of the emergency workers or the victims of September 11th..the congregation at Macedonia Baptist wants to make the service an annual event. During the service, a collection was taken up to be given as a gift to the Ocean Springs fire and police departments and the Jackson County Sheriff's department.

by Danielle Thomas