Burlington, NC -- Thank you.
They're two simple words that can have a powerful effect. And with Sept. 11 less than a week away, an Alamance Co. church said "thank you" and so much more to hundreds of emergency workers Thursday.
The Baptist Temple of Alamance County honored area law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS workers and other first responders with a free lunch and some prayers.
The event has been going on ever since the terrorist attacks that changed our country and killed thousands of people. The victims' names are all on flags that hang in the church -- and honoring them and all the emergency workers who protect us every day is in the hearts of church leaders.
"It means an awful lot," Alamance Co. Sheriff Terry Johnson said. "I know this church is praying for us every day -- every one of us. And in today's world, I think that is needed."
Firefighters, law officers, EMS workers and public servants of all stripes shared in the salute. But even if there wasn't anyone here to say "thanks," they'd keep working anyway.
"I've been doing this a long time and it's always been for the innocent that can't protect themselves," Burlington Assistant Police Chief Chris Verdeck said. "That's why I do what I do."
And that's why the church works so hard to thank first responders.
"It really means something to us, too," Johnson said. "We don't take it lightly. I can tell you, if I was 500 miles away and this event was today, I'd drive back just for the event.
WFMY News 2