A September 11th ceremony in Gulfport on Tuesday included the symbolic lighting of two candles. One was in remembrance of the police officers, firefighters, military troops and others who have made the ultimate sacrifice six years ago. The other candle was in honor of those who continue to risk their lives each day in service to others.
"My son Justin is serving in Iraq at this time," said Tina Simmons.
A bulletin board in the Garden Park Hospital lobby recognizes the sacrifices of employees like Simmons and their relatives serving in the military. Her son and son-in-law are in Iraq and her husband is scheduled to deploy there in two weeks.
"They do not know what that means to service people's family just to know that they remember us," said Simmons. "That's phenomenal."
On this September 11th, the hospital held a small tribute to our troops fighting for freedom abroad as well as the police officers, firefighters and ambulance workers who protect and serve here at home.
Garden Park Hospital educator and disaster coordinator Buddy Cospelich said, "We felt it was really our place to pay tribute to the people who are out in the streets who are bringing the sick and the injured in to us for care."
Brian Switzer is an emergency responder.
"It's an honor to be honed I guess in respect for what we do and that's a nice thing but to us it's what we do. it's what we signed up to do. it's what we volunteered to do."
September 11th was also last day of the hospital's collection drive. Soon care packages will go out full of candy, snacks and letters are on their way to troops overseas. Tina Simmons says that feeling of pride for those who serve should never grow dim.
"My older son, he's been to Iraq twice and the first few trips they come back and they get the big welcome and that's great," she said "But the ones that are still going and still coming home, they need that same support as when all this first started."
People at the ceremony said there's no need to worry that those who gave their lives and those will sacrifice now will ever be forgotten.