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Centurion Sunday at New River

Area citizens and public safety officials joined together at New River Community College Sunday morning to honor those who put their lives on the line daily to protect and serve.
The event, dubbed the “First Annual Centurion Sunday Tribute,” was designed to honor the military, law enforcement, firefighters and emergency service volunteers and employees of past and present and those who have given their lives to preserve the nation’s freedom.
The event was part of National Police Week, May 10-16, and was sponsored by River of Life Church in Dublin.
In his welcome message to those in attendance, River of Life Pastor Mike Honaker, a first sergeant with the Virginia State Police, pointed out that America is a nation “founded on four essential human freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of everyone to worship God in his own way, the freedom from want – just to simply get help when you need help, and … the freedom from fear.
”These freedoms remain the American Way, but they have always been sustained by the blood of patriots and the sacrifice of service,” he added.
Honaker said it would be hard to imagine what our communities or nation would be like without these individuals, so we need to let them know how much they are appreciated and not take them for granted.
He cited a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops, but the kind of man that the country turns out.”
“Our nation has produced the finest of citizens,” he said.
Keynote speakers for the event were Robert F. McDonnell, a former Virginia Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate, and Capt. Steve Lambert, division commander of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Criminal Intelligence Division in Richmond.
McDonnell said Americans “should never forget that we are a country that is born out of war – a country that has for its national emblem a flag that is red, white and blue. We must always remember that the red stands for the blood of the patriots, that freedom is not free – it’s the result of the bloodshed of people who loved freedom enough to give their … lives for it.”
Paraphrasing a quote from President George Washington, McDonnell stressed the importance of honoring those who serve the nation.
The quote to which he referred states, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”
He noted “it is so very important” that we remember these sacrifices or we will not be able to recruit a military that will “allow us to continue to enjoy the freedoms we have today.”
However, just as we honor those in the military, McDonnell said it is just as important to honor our law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services who protect us daily on the nation’s streets.
“We will only continue to be a great nation and have the freedom we enjoy if we honor those who give of themselves for the country,” he concluded.
Lambert gave a Biblical recount of the story of the Centurion and provided the sermon for the event. He stressed the importance of God to the nation and noted that while law enforcement has had to upgrade its weapons over the years to maintain constitutional freedoms, there is no need to upgrade the word of God.
The ceremony was followed by a reception.

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Centurion Sunday at New River

Area citizens and public safety officials joined together at New River Community College Sunday morning to honor those who put their lives on the line daily to protect and serve.
The event, dubbed the “First Annual Centurion Sunday Tribute,” was designed to honor the military, law enforcement, firefighters and emergency service volunteers and employees of past and present and those who have given their lives to preserve the nation’s freedom.
The event was part of National Police Week, May 10-16, and was sponsored by River of Life Church in Dublin.
In his welcome message to those in attendance, River of Life Pastor Mike Honaker, a first sergeant with the Virginia State Police, pointed out that America is a nation “founded on four essential human freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of everyone to worship God in his own way, the freedom from want – just to simply get help when you need help, and … the freedom from fear.
”These freedoms remain the American Way, but they have always been sustained by the blood of patriots and the sacrifice of service,” he added.
Honaker said it would be hard to imagine what our communities or nation would be like without these individuals, so we need to let them know how much they are appreciated and not take them for granted.
He cited a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops, but the kind of man that the country turns out.”
“Our nation has produced the finest of citizens,” he said.
Keynote speakers for the event were Robert F. McDonnell, a former Virginia Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate, and Capt. Steve Lambert, division commander of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Criminal Intelligence Division in Richmond.
McDonnell said Americans “should never forget that we are a country that is born out of war – a country that has for its national emblem a flag that is red, white and blue. We must always remember that the red stands for the blood of the patriots, that freedom is not free – it’s the result of the bloodshed of people who loved freedom enough to give their … lives for it.”
Paraphrasing a quote from President George Washington, McDonnell stressed the importance of honoring those who serve the nation.
The quote to which he referred states, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”
He noted “it is so very important” that we remember these sacrifices or we will not be able to recruit a military that will “allow us to continue to enjoy the freedoms we have today.”
However, just as we honor those in the military, McDonnell said it is just as important to honor our law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services who protect us daily on the nation’s streets.
“We will only continue to be a great nation and have the freedom we enjoy if we honor those who give of themselves for the country,” he concluded.
Lambert gave a Biblical recount of the story of the Centurion and provided the sermon for the event. He stressed the importance of God to the nation and noted that while law enforcement has had to upgrade its weapons over the years to maintain constitutional freedoms, there is no need to upgrade the word of God.
The ceremony was followed by a reception.

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