DOWNEY - Police officers, firefighters and military members were honored at a special Sept. 11 service at First Baptist Church of Downey. After the presentation of colors by Boy Scout Troop 351, Councilman Mario Guerra, a deacon in the Catholic church and chaplain for the Downey Police Department, gave the opening prayer. Guerra shared that the first official casualty of the 9/11 attacks 10 years ago was Father Mychal Judge, chaplain of the New York City Fire Department. In addition to dozens of local police and firefighters, including Fire Chief Lonnie Croom and Police Chief Rick Esteves, also in attendance was Marine Capt. David Denial, a veteran of five deployments to the Middle East and, among other decorations, a recipient of the Purple Heart. "This is an opportunity for us to witness together as the nation did 10 years ago," said Pastor Rich Holt. "Coming together as one community is very important to us." The local Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf store in Downey was on hand as part of their Support The Troops program. Bags of coffee were purchased by the congregation and Coffee Bean will ship them to the troops overseas with personalized messages written on each bag. Store manager Conrad DeGuzman also gifted a bag of coffee to all uniformed guests in attendance. First Baptist Church of Downey, located directly adjacent to City Hall, has served the community since 1868.
********** Published: September 15, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 22