Employees of AdventHealth Gordon and area first responders gathered outside the hospital’s Harris Radiation Therapy Center on Wednesday afternoon to mark the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Dr. Joe Joyave, chief medical officer, gave the opening remarks and referenced the Bible’s book of Luke as he talked about the bravery that firefighters and other first responders display as they risk their lives for members of the community whom they have never even met.

He also commended the families of local first responders for the hardships they endure not knowing whether their loved one will return home from work on a daily basis.

“We are appreciative and thankful for that,” Joyave said.

Joyave also noted that many of the service men and women in American have chosen to serve in a post-9/11 world, one that seems to be more dangerous than ever. He always noted the importance of remembering those who gave their lives in service.

After a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a rendition of “Taps,” hospital Chaplain Don Jehle addressed the dozens of people assembled for the event.

Jehle said that on that fateful day 18 years ago that America was attacked in the name of one group’s view of religion with the intent to spread terror, but what happened in response was different from what the attackers had in mind.

“Those who attacked the United States misjudged our nation, because the men and women who responded did so in bravery, not in fear,” he said.

Jehle asked that those in attendance to always remember those who responded in the ways that show what America is all about, saying that people today should be inspired by their courage and bravery.

He also noted that local first responders put themselves at risk everyday for the community and that those individuals should remain in the thoughts and prayers of residents.

Jehle led prayer to close out the ceremony.

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