On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., local organizers are hosting an event at the Providence Municipal Golf and Recreation Center to honor all first responders, veterans and active duty military personnel. Honor, Hope and Healing is open to the public and will include live music and food.
“The whole point of this event is not just to honor our first responders, veterans and service members, but to encourage and uplift them by bringing a spirit of hope in this difficult time,” said Providence Second Baptist minister Nick Duvall. “It is a difficult time for everybody right now. We could all use a little encouragement.”
Although the idea for the event began with Duvall, it quickly grew into something much larger.
“This is something that God put on my heart,” Duvall said. “But its not just a Second Baptist event. We’ve also gotten help and sponsorships from Planters Bank, the city of Providence, Papa Johns in Madisonville, Providence Tourism, Blonde and Brewnette and others. We have a lot of involvement from the community and individuals.”
Although the event officially gets underway at 4 p.m., Duvall said that food trucks and other vendors will be on hand earlier in the day. Many of those will be offering discounts to first responders, veterans and current military personnel.
At 4 p.m., plans are for a fire department honor guard to arrive, followed by the playing of the National Anthem. The Christian band 1 Church Movement will then take the stage to open the event.
Three speakers will address the crowd during the event. First up is Kenneth Poindexter, CW5 retired. He began his military career in 1979 with the U.S. Marine Corp, then transferred to the U.S. Army in 1989, where he immediately completed flight school. He was deployed multiple times during his career, including Operation Provide Freedom (1991) and multiple deployments during the war on terror. He retired from the 160th Special Ops unit in 2016.
He will be joined by Major Timothy L. Morgan, who also served in the 160th. He began his military service in 1987. After 13 combat deployments, he retired in 2012 to become a full time minister. He was recalled to active duty in July 2020 and currently serves as the Operations Officer and Maintenance Test Pilot for 1st BN 160th SOAR(A). His most recent deployment to Afghanistan ended in July of this year.
The third and final speaker for the day is former Texas Tech head football coach Rick Gage.
After completing his college playing career, Gage stepped right into coaching, taking over the reigns of West Texas University’s football program right after graduating. Three years later, at just 25 years of age, he moved to Texas Tech.
In 1986, just as his career was taking off, Gage walked away from the game, becoming an evangelist, and eventually founding Go Tell Ministries.
Duvall said that all first responders, veterans and military service men and women who attend the event will be given free gifts, but he urges everyone in the community to come be a part. Everyone should, however, bring a lawn chair as seating will be limited.
Contact Matt Hughes at email@example.com or 270-667-2069