FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Remnant of Hope Worship Center held a church ceremony to honor first responders at 11 a.m. on Sept. 11.

New Life Worship Center joined Remnant of Hope in the honoring of our local first responders, as well as remembering the lives lost on September 11, 2001.

The ceremony started with praise and worship with many different songs sung by a couple of the church members. All of those in attendance were standing, praising God, and singing along.

Pastor Doug Wyatt began his message shortly after. He first brought up the tragic day that everyone honors, and how many lives were lost. He mentioned that a total of 416 first responders lost their lives trying to save those who were tapped in both twin towers.

This led into him bringing up that if there was more love in the world, there would be less war, hatred, and division. They wanted to honor first responders for the impact that they have on communities everyday, in which he said, “they don’t get the recognition throughout the entire year, why not give them at least one day? As you will see in the message this morning, uh, no greater love has any man than he laid down his life for his friends.. Much less strangers.”

The Pastor continued with his message that we are commanded to love, even when it is our enemy. Enemies come in and try to put thoughts and distractions in to our minds to pull us away from the truth and divide us. He had mentioned that we do not need to be fighting against each other, we need to come together and love one another, just like we did on that day 21 years ago.

While giving his message, he began to connect the first responders to doing God’s work, not only on this tragic day, but every day. Preaching that first responders have the compassion that God has given them to risk their lives for others when everyone else runs away. He spoke of an example of the last plane, Flight 93. The passengers knew they weren’t going home because they learned of what had happened and realized their plane was hijacked. They did not want to let anyone else die, so they did something about it. While they were not first responders, this was God giving them that compassion to save others so more lives were not taken.

He added that firefighters, police officers, and EMS drivers do not do their jobs for a pat on the back, they do it for the citizens of their communities. Just as Jesus sacrificed his life, and suffered for his friends and enemies, he even asked God to forgive those who hurt him.

The message ended with the Pastor saying that we all need to show more compassion and love to the first responders, because they risk their life everyday and a lot of the world takes it for granted.

The Flags with bible verses and pins (WBOY Image)

After the message was wrapped up, Pastor Wyatt bless small flags with papers that included a bible verse and a pin, with oil. He placed them in the first responders gear that was set up in the middle of the Worship Center. Everyone in the church gathered around the uniforms of first responders and prayed protection over them. The church then prayed over individuals who attended for what they requested. At the end of the ceremony, there was a meal of spaghetti, salad, bread, and a lot of fruits and desserts for members of the church to enjoy.

At 6 p.m., Donnie Abraham and the Gospel Trio “Renewal” played a concert for the first responders and church members.