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Sept. 11 tribute for Clayton first responders

Community sponsors lunch for emergency workers

JONESBORO — Some local residents are preparing to honor the Clayton County Fire and Police departments along with other emergency service personnel with a special luncheon on Sept. 11.

The luncheon for the Clayton County first responders is scheduled to be held at noon, Tuesday, at the Elmcroft of Mt. Zion assisted living community at 7493 Mt. Zion Blvd., and at various fire stations across the county.

Clayton County Fire Capt. Walter Barber said he was contacted by some local volunteers who wanted to have a luncheon to show their gratitude to local firefighters and police officers and as a tribute to the first responders who were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“It is always an honor to be recognized,” Barber said. “We do our job because we feel the need to give to the community and it is always humbling to receive that appreciation in return.”

John Marxen said he called the Clayton fire captain because he feels that 9/11 should be a day to commemorate first responders, including firefighters, police officers, emergency workers and others.

“This lunch is just a simple thank you to the firefighters and police who put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf,” Marxen explained. “We are inviting police officers to come to the nearest fire station to join us for lunch. Police and firefighters were among the first responders, and it says a lot about what kind of people they are. They went to the trouble and not away.”

Barber said Marxen and Elmcroft of Mt. Zion approached him at the same time about doing something on Sept. 11.

“We put the two of them in contact with each other to make sure all of the 14 fire stations would be covered,” said the fire captain. “Mr. Marxen wanted to honor his father, who was a firefighter in Ohio for 40-plus years, and Elmcroft of Mt. Zion contacted us because they wanted to show their appreciation for firefighters and police officers.”

Marxen said his father, Glenn “Jake” Marxen, was the first full-time fireman in Kent, Ohio, from 1921-1967. He said both of his grandfathers were volunteer firefighters, one of whom — William Kline — was a fire chief for the Kent, Ohio, fire department.

Each fire station has a community sponsor.

“I am feeding the city of Morrow Police and Fire departments this year, and the Lake City Police Department with the help of Clayton County Republican Party,” said Marxen.

Marxen is the head coordinator and announced which sponsors would host the luncheon at the various fire stations:

• Elmcroft of Mt. Zion is sponsoring lunch for fire stations 1, 6, 7, 9 and 12.

• Forest Park Ministerial Association is sponsoring lunch at Forest Park firefighters and police.

• Lakeview Christian Church in Riverdale is sponsoring lunch at Riverdale Police and Fire departments.

• Watkins Funeral Home of Jonesboro is sponsoring lunch at fire stations on Main Street in Jonesboro.

• Chick-fil-A in Forest Park is sponsoring lunch at Clayton County fire stations 2 and 14.

• Rebuild the Wall Ministries in Riverdale, is sponsoring lunch at fire station 4.

• First Christian Church is sponsoring lunch at fire station 5.

• Mt. Zion Baptist Church is sponsoring lunch at fire station 8.

• Waffle House is sponsoring lunch at fire station 11.

• Fire stations 3 and 10 also will have a lunch sponsored by a woman identified only as “Sister Harris.”