Safety and rescue personnel honored on Pawley’s Island


PAWLEY’S ISLAND — Local members of the safety and rescue forces received a tribute for their work at a special service sponsored by the Waccamaw Neck Ministerial Association, Precious Blood of Christ Church and Knights of Columbus Council 11028. It was held Sept. 11 at Precious Blood.

After the event, Battalion Chief Carr Gilmore of the Midway Fire and Rescue Department recalled his feelings when terrorists attacked in the United States in 2001. In remembering, the chief showed why the service people were being honored.

“We were actually having a retirement party for the fire chief,” Gilmore said. When the news came on TV, they watched in horror and disbelief. “You wanted to do something, and you couldn’t,” he said.

“We hosted a lot of the families from New York six months later,” he said. The department brought down firemen and their families and gave them a two-week expense-paid vacation in the Pawley’s Island area.

Rep. Vida Miller enjoyed the service.

“I think it’s absolutely wonderful,” said Miller. “I think the country has gone through so much in the past few weeks with the Gulf Coast situation. I know all of us here along the coast certainly share their feelings.”

Father Patrick Stenson loved the community input from the Sept. 11 service and said he enjoyed pulling the emergency workers together since he has experience as a military chaplain.

He was also pleased with the turnout for the service and said he was glad that it brought all the churches together.

Today, four years after Sept. 11, Americans still hurt from the tragedy.

“The emotions and feelings there come back,” he said. “If somebody hurts you, you say ‘I forgive you.’ Two weeks later you may want vengeance, so the pain comes back. Life can never be the same. You can never go back.”