Calvary Full Gospel Church in Fairless Hills dedicated its Sunday service to “Hometown Heroes” in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Pastor David E. Farina led the service. A ceremony half way through the service named each police, fire, EMS, and military member in attendance.
It started with five guest speakers including Lower Makefield Police Chief Ken Coluzzi, Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran, Bucks District Attorney Matt Weintraub, and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, and Ryan Skoczylas to represent State Senator Tommy Tomlinson.
“Thank you all for being here for the people who do the unthinkable,” said Fitzpatrick. “They put their physical health on the line, their psychological and emotional health on the line all to serve a cause bigger than themselves.”
Fitzpatrick is a former FBI agent and EMT.
“One thing that unites everybody on this stage and all of our first responders that I see, and our gold star families, is everybody here that served or is serving now is willing to sacrifice everything they have in the spirit of community to keep you safe,” said Weintraub.
“Twenty years ago yesterday some folks tried to take this country down,” said Harranon the attacks. “And what they did was they made it stronger. They didn’t realize what they did.”
It also gave special recognition to three men who had lost their lives in the line of duty. Among them was Paul Gill, a firefighter with the New York Fire Department who was killed responding to the World Trade Center 20 years ago.
Farina gave special recognition to Gill’s mother, Lorraine Gill Betancourt, who attended the service.
“Her son rushed into the towers while people were running out,” said Farina, as church staff gave her flowers. A special display for Paul Gill sat on the stage front and center.
“His helmet is there. The flag that draped his coffin is there. She’s wearing his shirt because she remembers today what it’s like to give a son in service.”
The church also gave special recognition to Private First Captain Nate DeTample and Captain Ryan Ianelli. Both were killed in action overseas, in Iraq and Afghanistan respectively.
The list of honored hometown heroes in attendance included:
- Enrique Derdacia – Veteran, Army National Guard
- Gabriel Derdacia – Correctional Police Officer
- Marian Kach – Vietnam Veteran, United States Navy, 2nd Class Petty Officer
- Shannon Kach – EMT & Rescue Technician
- Jerome Sellers – Vietnam Veteran, United States Army, Sergeant
- Alyssa Sellers – Civilian Care Nurse
- Joel Martin – United States Army, Colonel
- Nickolas Colon – United States Army
- Darrel Roopnarain – Desert Shield/Storm Veteran, United States Army
- Jim Suda – Veteran, United States Military
- Jason Thibodeau – U.S. Army National Guard Infantry, Specialist
- Robert Maher – United States Army
- Mike Forrest – Lower Makefield Police Officer
- Todd Hamski – Lower Makefield Police Officer
- David Nieves Jr. – Detective, Chester County DA’s Office
- Kenneth Coluzzi – Lower Makefield Chief of Police
- John Figueroa – New Jersey State Police
- Fred Harran – Bensalem Public Safety Director
- David Ahrens – Falls Township Police, CPC
- Richard Behrmann III – Falls Township Fire Company, Vice President/Firefighter
- Michael Bradshaw – Falls Township Fire Company, Firefighter, EMT
- Mark Dolton – Falls Township Fire Company, Firefighter, EMT
- James Foster – Trevose Fire Station, Fire Police & Canteen
- Nathan Nelson – Falls Township Fire Company, Captain