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story.lead_photo.caption The Sentinel-Record/Richard Rassmussen GIVING BACK: St. Mary's of the Springs Catholic Church member Don Borchert, right, serves breakfast to Hot Springs Fire Department Driver Shannon McDaniel, left, HSPD Officer Shawn Woodall and Officer Richard Nunez during a first responder breakfast sponsored by the Squire Circle 5700 youth group, Knights of Columbus Council 6419 and the congregations of St. Mary's and St. John's churches Monday. - Photo by Richard Rasmussen

Police cruisers, fire trucks and ambulances lined the parking lot and the streets around St. Mary of the Springs Catholic Church, 100 Central Ave., Monday morning as first responders gathered for a free breakfast honoring their service to the community on the anniversary of 9/11.

Sponsored by Squire Circle 5700 youth group, Knights of Columbus Council 6419 and the congregations of both St. Mary's and St. John's churches, the event was chaired by Dayton Myers, a ninth-grader who is chief squire of Squire Circle 5700.

Around 450 plates and to-go boxes filled to the brim with a Southern breakfast with all the trimmings were served from 6 to 9 a.m. Hot Springs Police Chief Jason Stachey was seen leaving with several bags full of to-go boxes for his on-duty officers, as many more came in to pick up their own boxes.

"We had a very successful turnout," Hans Purkott, special events chairman for the Knights of Columbus, said Monday.

"It is so important to honor our first responders. They are out saving lives every day," he said.

First responders in attendance were able to eat their fill and take a moment to relax before heading out into the community for another day's work.

The breakfast offered an environment where area first responders were able to sit back and chat with the people working alongside them in different capacities. Although some grouped together by profession, many first responders sat with representatives of different agencies.

"(It was) a respectful demonstration of solidarity between first responders, and a nice way to remember those that died on 9/11," Hot Springs Fire Chief Ed Davis said before the event.

Davis, as well as Mayor Pat McCabe and Purkott, spoke during the opening of the breakfast prior to a ceremony memorializing the first responders who were killed in the terrorists attacks of Sept 11, 2001.

Local on 09/12/2017

Print Headline: First responders honored

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