On Monday, Sept. 21, the Rotary Club of Dawson County held an International Day of Peace ceremony honoring the first responders of Dawson County.
The ceremony, which took place at Veterans Memorial Park, featured speeches from Rotary Club President Sharon Hall, Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond, Representative Kevin Tanner, Rotary District Governor Elect Mike Berg and a letter read on behalf of U.S. Rep. Doug Collins. Each speech honored the first responders of Dawson County, from the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, Dawson County Emergency Services and Dawson County Public Works.
“The Rotary Club of Dawson County wanted to celebrate peace and our first responders right here in Dawson County, so today we wanted to say thank you to our first responders,” Hall said during the ceremony.
Thurmond thanked Dawson Rotary for organizing the event, and also thanked the first responders assembled at the park.
“To our fine men and women of public safety, I appreciate everything you do and we will always stand with you,” Thurmond said. “I thank God for each and every one of you.”
Tanner echoed Thurmond’s thoughts, adding in a thank you for those who work behind the scenes with the other first responders.
“We have a lot of opportunities throughout the year to honor our veterans and those who have served in the military, but sometimes it’s easy for us to forget those folks who get up every day and work every night protecting us here at home,” Tanner said. “Thank you for all you do, those that are out in front and those who are behind the scenes like our 911 workers, our jail personnel, our court staff and others who we don’t get to see all that often but are just as important.”
In a letter written by Collins, the U.S. Rep. added that with the COVID-19 pandemic that has been going on during 2020, first responders are needed more than ever.
“In these unprecedented times full of unknowns, one thing we know for certain is that our first responders continue to work both day and night to heal, protect and unite us, often to the detriment of their own mental, emotional and physical health,” Collins said. “On behalf of the ninth congressional district of Georgia, I want to thank each and every first responder and support staff member.”
Berg ended the speeches with a reminder that International Peace Day shouldn’t just be one day out of the year.
“Remember that peace day isn’t just for today, it’s for every day and we need that now more than ever,” Berg said.
The event ended with each first responder in attendance receiving the title of “honorary friend of the Rotary Club of Dawson County” and a boxed lunch.
“We would like to make each of you honorary friends of the Rotary Club for the next year,” Hall said. “We have had certificates made for each department, as well as challenge coins that are used to show appreciation for a job well done or to signify or verify members of a specific organization.”