Heroes Luncheon Gives Thanks To Law Enforcement, First Responders
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma - It's not uncommon to have fellowship meals and special events at First Baptist Church in Tahlequah.
But this one is different.
It is called the "Heroes Luncheon" and is honoring law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders from across Cherokee County.
"Firemen, police, the ambulance service, as well as the DA's office and judges," organizer Josh Pinney said.
It's the second year for the event honoring each of the 300 people for their time spent away from their families, their willingness to put themselves in harm's way and their spirit of service.
It means a lot.
"Once in a while we get pats on the back, but nothing like this," Sgt. Jim Flores of the Northeastern State University Police Department said.
"When we do meet people it's usually in bad situations and a lot of times it's just good to feel appreciated," Lt. Casey Baker of the Tahlequah Fire Department said.
Holding the event on such an important date in Oklahoma history, the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, is a fitting way to remember the bravery that day and the service all these people provide every day.
"It helps us all to reflect on the tragedy that happened that day," Flores said.
Altogether, there were 31 different agencies and departments from across Cherokee County attending the heroes luncheon.
They were all recognized.
They were all thanked.
And it's hoped all the public servants left knowing the public is grateful.
"There are people that notice and we want them to know that." Pinney said.