First Responders Honored


Men and women in every shade of green and blue filed in for a plate of fried mullet and a heaping helping of gratitude.

"It looks delicious, we're all starving, can't wait and we appreciate everything they've done for us today."

"To be able to come out and share lunch with our comrades with everything that's happened since 9/11, it's just a blessing to be here," says Jackson Whitehead.

Everyone from firefighters to federal marshals, from police to paramedics, are enjoying this second annual appreciation luncheon. It started in the wake of September 11, and is now becoming a tradition.

"This gives us a chance to mourn them and appreciate the fact that, but for the grace of God go I and renew our friendships," says Larry Campbell.

"This is all first responders rededicating themselves to what it's all about. The idea is to serve our citizens and to serve citizens the best we possibly can," says Chief Walk McNeil.

Champion Chevrolet picked up the tab, and folks at the Seineyard Restaurant churned out the food, calling it an honor to serve those who serve.

"I'm just glad to help. Those folks that when we need somebody, the first responders, they're the first ones on the scene and we just want to say thank you," says Sam Dunlap.

The guest speaker Wednesday was the new head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Guy Tunnel, who will take over October 1.