Honor To Whom Honor Is Due

Mike Kehoe is a New York City firefighter. He was one of the first responders to the call on September 11, 2001 and went to the World Trade Center to rescue lives. As people were rushing down the stairs to get out of the burning tower, Mike was seen climbing up the stairs. Somewhere around the 28th floor someone took his picture. In it you can see a crowd of civilians going down the stairs, while this dedicated servant is moving up the stairs, against the flow of traffic. The photograph, which was widely circulated, earned him the label “hero” — but as far as he was concerned, he was just doing his job. 

In Mike Kehoe, we see an example of sacrificial living. And in him, we see what a hero really is. 

There were countless acts of heroism on that September day the world stopped turning. Some of the stories we’ve heard; other’s we’ll never hear. Some of the names we’ve learned; others we’ll never know. Some of the heroes lived through the ordeal; others gave their lives in an attempt to save others. All of them — especially the 23 cops, 37 Port Authority officers 

and 343 firefighters who lost their lives that day — taught us a lesson in sacrificial living. And they taught us what a true hero really is. Because of that we should never look the same way at a police officer again. Or a firefighter. Or a paramedic. They are our heroes. 

But they aren’t the only ones. Thousands and thousands of people give sacrificially in response to the crises in our town every day. Many of them are volunteers. People from all walks of life who volunteer their services because they want to help. 

It is for that reason that this year on Memorial Day Sunday we are giving honor to those in the city of Charlottesville and the county of Albemarle who make up the first responders, our firefighters, our policemen, our paramedics. These are the people who respond when we need help. 

The Bible tells us in Romans 13:7 that we should Render therefore to all their dues…. honour to whom honour. (KJV) On May 27 we plan to do just that hopefully with representatives from police, fire and rescue departments. We will also have a “WALL OF HONOR” in the foyer that you can use to express your gratitude to either all of these groups or perhaps one individual that helped you in a time of crisis. 

If you know a first responder, invite them to come to one of our services on May 27 so that we may honor them in person. They may even be a part of another department outside of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, but we want to honor them as well. Help us make this a day that these men and women will know that we appreciate them. 

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