Every time I think about this day 11 years ago, I think about a verse in the Book of Isaiah.
The heavens had opened up for Isaiah with a vision of terrible majesty. The full host of angels and God himself stood before him and he was awestruck and frightened.
You see, he was a sinner, just like the rest of us - small, insignificant and imperfect before the full glory of heaven.
He was terrified and shaken.
But when the Lord asked "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us." Isaiah gathered his strength to stand and said "I will. Here am I. Send me."
Last year, we came together from Lexington, Irmo, Columbia and Richland County to build the First Responders Remembrance Memorial so that years from now future generations could learn this legacy of sacrifice and service, to say to our children and grandchildren, "These men and women believed in something higher than themselves and put their own lives on the line in defense of that belief."
We built this memorial and gather there every year so that we can say thank you to all those who answer the call, who staring into the face of fear itself step forward and say "Send Me."
Mayor of Columbia