D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - It was a ceremony to remember those who died in the September 11th attacks. It was also a time to thank first responders and to help the community at large.
Each year since the day America was attacked on its own soil, the D'Iberville Moose Lodge has coupled its annual 9/11 memorial service with a blood drive. There was also a special gift for police and firefighters.
A prayer and a wreath paid tribute to the 3,000 souls lost on September 11, 2001.
"It's a sad day for America. It really was. A lot of people lost their lives - both first responders and civilians," Capt. Walter Heck Jr. with the D'Iberville Police Department said.
The D'Iberville Moose Lodge honored the first responders who died in the terrorist attacks, as well as its own hometown heroes - D'Iberville police officers and firefighters.
"It just shows that the community really comes together," said Fire Chief Gerald Smith.
The Moose Lodge's appreciation went beyond a pat on the back. The lodge made a $3,000 donation to the police and fire departments. They also recognized how emergency workers put their lives on the line in all kinds of dangers, including hurricanes.
Chief Smith said, "When they evacuate, we're still here. We have to be here to do what we can, when we can for the ones that don't evacuate. So basically we're in harm's way."
The 9/11 event is as much about enriching lives as it is remembering those who died. That's why every year, the Moose Lodge also hosts a blood drive.
Ralph Swinney is a member of the D'Iberville Moose Lodge.
"The Red Cross always needs any assistance they can have in collecting blood. We have members of the Moose who actually died in the disaster of 9/11. It's just our way of showing all that these first responders do for their communities," Swinney said.