Mayor Tom Durington and the Alvarado police and fire departments called Alvarado residents together for a special evening prayer service at the gazebo on the square Sept. 11.
After a brief word of welcome and preliminary remarks by Durington, Police Chief John Allen gave the opening prayer and then led the pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag.
A flag was draped across the banister on the gazebo, bearing the names of those who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and American Airlines flight 93, which was forced down in western Pennsylvania after its passengers thwarted the efforts of terrorists on board who had likely intended a second attack on the nation’s capital.
Local clergy who were asked to pray for different entities and people during the ceremony included the Rev. Wade Taylor, pastor of First Baptist Church, who offered a prayer for the nation; the Rev. Darlene Hall, pastor of New Life Ministries, who prayed for the president; the Rev. Maggie Thompson, pastor of Healing Balm Church, who prayed for the American troops; the Rev. R. L. Smith, pastor of Alvarado Baptist Temple, who prayed for police, firefighters and emergency medical service; and the Rev. Gene Gurley, pastor of First United Methodist Church, who prayed for the nation of Israel.
The service was concluded with the singing of “God Bless America,” as led by Alvarado High School honor chorale member Ashley Fullerton.
“Our nation and the nation of Israel have a common enemy today and we (Alvarado) have a sister city in Israel and that is another reason why we need to remember Israel when we pray today,” Durington said.
The crowd gave a standing ovation as Durington recognized the city’s police and fire departments.