First responders honored with fireworks show

Banner thanking first responders. / Jessica Fairly

Albany officials made it a point to recognize local first responders for their service to the community.

This September 11th will mark the 10th year anniversary for the World Trade Center attacks where hundreds of first responders died while working in the aftermath. Monday's 4th of July fireworks show was dedicated to those who arrive first and serve.

The theme of red, white and blue signifies valor, purity, and justice. First responders said they carry these values in their hearts as they put their lives on the line. Event organizers wanted to bring attention to their deeds.

"We thought what a great way to remember what happened in 911 and still have a nice tribute to our local responders who keep us safe and secure here in our community," said Albany Recreation and Parks Department Special Events Coordinator Kristin Caso.

With a banner in place and first responder vehicles lined up, event organizers said they hoped citizens would come out and say thank you to the men in uniform for their hard work. Law officials who were honored said it's good to know that their work is not taken for granted.

"We really appreciate any honor that comes our way and I'm sure that if you asked anyone that's working today that they'll just tell you that we're just doing our job," said Albany Fire Department Captain Kenny Loudenbarger.

It's a job that most can't imagine.

"We run into burning buildings when everyone else is trying to run out. So we know the sacrifice and it something we do proudly," said Albany Fire Department AOE Diver Eric Graham.

First responders said it was about time they got their due.

"A while back many people didn't recognize first responders but now they are respecting them and acknowledging them," said Albany Police Department Corporal Shawn Bell.

Officials acknowledged the law enforcement by recognizing the long hours they put in, the family time they miss and the possibility of losing their lives while on the job. Although many know the risks, they take on a positive outlook.

"There's always a bright side. I mean our job is dangerous but it's not that that makes me want to do this job. It's the satisfaction that I know that I can be there to help somebody else," said Albany Fire Department Relief Driver Jason Hancock.

The law entities celebrated during the festivities included every organization from 911 service providers to the Dougherty County Police. Organizers said it was a good time to show and tell them how much they are appreciated.