MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) – Swapping pizzas for burgers is an annual event on Sept. 11 at Ron’s Pizza Tavern, but organizers and attendees said this year was even more special as the community uses the event to thank first responders.
The Honor Luncheon, hosted by Fox Motors, Inc.. Richard Denny Insurance, and Ron’s Pizza Tavern, started the first anniversary of the terror attacks as a way to remember and honor those who serve and protect, but said it meant even more this year, thanking the men and women for everything they do every day, but especially during tragedies like we’ve seen right here in the Miami Valley.
Miamisburg Police Chief, John Sedlak, said he rememberd 9/11/2001 crystal clear, detailing his time as Toledo Police Captain, and was in Columbus at a police training event when the towers fell.
He said they watched on a big screen in real time, before being quickly dismissed to protect their own communities.
“It was a very significant and emotional event,” said Sedlak. “We really didn’t know how many more attacks there may be, and I think all of us, all first responders mentally were preparing themselves for whatever may come.”
While the free cookout has been going on over a decade, organizers and Sedlak said they really felt the love this year after the Oregon District tragedy.
“We had some Dayton officers and detectives in today, and it just makes you appreciate so much that they don’t know what they’re going to face when they go to work every day,” said Josh Fox of Fox Motors, Inc.
“The way those officers were able to put a cease to that mass horror in 32 seconds, it is a source of pride too,” added Sedlak.
But the event is not just an appreciation for first responders, organizers said they open it to the community to build comradery and a relationship between the first responders and the people they protect.
“These guys do such a great job, not only in Miamisburg, but all over the country and they don’t get a lot of recognition,” said Ron Holp of Ron’s Pizza Tavern.
“We truly can never forget and it seems like this community never will forget,” emphasized Sedlak.
This marked the 17th year for the event and Fox said there’s no end in sight.
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