OTTAWA — A multi-denominational effort, Blessing of the Badges, was held Sunday at Ottawa-Glandorf High School to recognize first responders in Putnam County.
“This is actually a really neat thing to see. People come together and just show appreciation for what all of us do. It’s really humbling,” said Michael Wrecker, a firefighter with the Glandorf Fire Department.
This is something the local pastors and priests have been working on for a while.
The Blessing of the Badges is a way for the people to tell the first responders how they feel about their service to the community.
“You watch these guys and gals, they put on the badge every day and you know they don’t get to do heroic things every day, but they are everyday heroes,” said Jerry Meyer, pastor of Breakthrough Harvest Church. “They are the ones that we expect to run into dangerous situations. We expect them to serve and protect and do all of these things, and sometimes they get very little credit for it.”
Meyer has two sons that are police officers, a daughter-in-law who is an EMT, and a daughter and son-in-law that are corrections officers.
“My daughter, when she was a teenager, had been molested. If it hadn’t been for one of our local officers here in town, we still don’t know where we would be through all that. My sons both saw that. My oldest, at first, wanted to be a lawyer but decided to become a cop, and he loved it,” said Meyer.
Nearly every church in Putnam County was represented at the Blessing of the Badges ceremony.
“What a great opportunity to bring them all together and honor them not only as a community but as a community of faith. We can come together and agree on this and really show a unified community of faith and bless our first responders,” said Meyer.
“This is something we do at SS. Peter & Paul, we’ve done it every November but we wanted to make it a community thing, which is a really wonderful thing,” said Father Matthew Jozefiak with SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. “We’re all kind of gathering together as ministers and as a community in Putnam County to celebrate all the men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.