Blessing of the Badges
It just feels right on 9/11 that the Gulfport Ecumenical Fellowship hosts a Blessing of the Badges celebration and block party for first responders and providers across Harrison County at Gulfport First United Methodist Church.
A simple thank you goes a long way for our first responders on the Coast which is why the Gulfport Ecumenical Fellowship wanted to show their appreciation with the first ever Blessing of the Badges service. Will Shirley with Gulfport Ecumenical Fellowship said, “One of the parts of this community that we greatly respect, of course, is all of our first responders and providers. So, we wanted to speak a blessing to them.”
The Blessing of the Badges included a pre-service concert, processional, the blessing and dinner by Feed my Sheep and Operational BBQ Relief. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said, “We must recognize the job that our law enforcement, our firemen, all first responders in the military, those who wear a badge, how they keep our community safe.”
It’s only fitting that the first ever Blessing of the Badges takes place on 9/11 where first responders risked their lives to save others 17 years ago. Gulfport resident Rebecca Kershaw said, “If there’s anyone who needs our thanks it is our first responders for all that they did.”
“We want to make sure as we remember those who served 17 years ago that we are still praying for those who serve us today,” said Shirley.
Anytime our first responders can help somebody along the way as they pass along then their living shall not be in vain. “We are very blessed as a community to have these folks who show such great dedication and love for this city,” said Mayor Hewes.
Gulfport Fire Chief Mike Beyerstedt said, “It’s great to be in a community where we get this kind of support and it means a lot to the people who are wearing a badge every day I can tell you that.”