By J.D. O’Gara
The First Baptist Church of Bellingham honored the town’s first responders in a dedicated service on Sunday, September 11, 2022.
“Today is a day we set aside to show our appreciation to the selfless men and women who care for us,” said Pastor Baron K. Rodrigues, before he presented plaques of appreciation from the congregation to Bellingham Deputy Fire Chief Chris Milot and Bellingham Police Sgt. Ken Jones, on behalf of their departments.
Although Fire Chief Gentile was attending a separate charity event to raise funds for 9/11 victims, Deputy Chief Milot accepted the plaque on behalf of Bellingham Fire. Chief Gentile, in a letter, expressed, “I would really like to say thank you for the award and for your acknowledgement of recognizing everything that the Department and Staff do for the Town and surrounding communities.”
Sgt. Jones commented on behalf of the Bellingham Police Department.
“We’re very appreciative of everything, that they’ve brought everyone together, and it was an honor for us. It was a very nice event,” said Jones.
Pastor Rodrigues expressed his belief that God bestows on first responders “something in their heart to want to sacrifice their life or well-being to protect ones we love,” and that, “The reason why I wanted this service was I remember where I was on 9/11 and the sacrifices of (first responders) that I witnessed.”
Also attending the service was Bellingham Town Clerk Larry Sposato and Rep. Shawn Dooley, who noted how important he thought it was that the church community took the time to honor their local heroes. “There’s so much negativity toward police, it’s great to remember how many local members of our community are willing to give back,” said Dooley.