LAWTON, Okla._A local church served lunch to first responders in reflection of the events on 9/11 and to honor the everyday heroes of Comanche County.
Volunteers at Cameron Baptist Church served a free meal to more than 100 first responders Friday afternoon. Brisket, mashed potatoes and a bar with homemade desserts were all on the menu. Dozens of invitations were sent out to emergency services, inviting all of their crew members to attend.
For many of the emergency personnel, they said they were just blown away by this outpouring of support. The best way to someone's heart is through their stomach and that definitely held true.
Of course, everyone was talking about the food.
"Pecan pie. It's my favorite. That's my Achilles heel," admitted Police Chief James Smith.
"A little bit of everything. I kind of felt like I was at my grandma's house. You know, keep shoving plates at you and telling you to eat more," Lawton firefighter Joseph Landoll said.
Landoll says he is grateful for the chance to interact with volunteers from the community.
"It's nice to get out there and tell them we are just like them. We're not any different from anybody else. We just have a little more training than them. That's about all," Landoll said.
Lawton Police Chief James Smith says it is important to reflect on how much the country has changed since 9/11.
"Our goal is always make sure it never happens again, but also to make sure that our country, our state and our community is safer and stronger than it was before," Chief Smith said.
Event organizer Terri McCuiston has two firefighters and an EMT in her family. She says she wants them to know just how valuable they are.
"I know that sometime in our life, every one of us are probably going to depend on first responders in some way. You know, they serve every day, they choose to. So, it's important to just take one day and say today we choose to serve you," McCuiston said.
Landoll says they aren't always recognized like this for the job they do, but he wouldn't change a thing.
"The lights and sirens come on, people seem to notice you a lot more too, but it's a great job. I wouldn't trade anything for it. It's awesome to get to come up to somebody's house when they are at their worst day and you try to make the day a little better, which is what we always try to do," Landoll said.