BRADENTON — Lt. Tommy Neiman, a firefighter and chaplain from Fort Pierce, ministered to emergency responders and victim families after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center in New York.
He will share his experiences 8 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. Sept. 13 in services at First Baptist Church of Bradenton, 1306 Manatee Ave. W,
Neiman was one of the 12 chaplains who distributed urns containing ashes from Ground Zero to family members of victims.
Victim families traveled in a convoy of buses Oct. 28, 2001, to Liberty State Park in N.Y., and were led into a small chapel where they given an American flag and a round urn.
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Nieman walked the piles of rubble as they were still burning.
“I’ll be sharing some stories of what it was like walking the concrete dust and piles,” Neiman said. “I want to make it uplifting in a spiritual sense.”
Neiman said the television coverage did fully convey the devastation that took place. He saw dazed firefighters, policemen and emergency workers throughout the area, who were broken down spiritually.
“When the policemen and firefighters saw us, they gave us a huge ‘thank you’ for being there because they knew we were there to encourage them,” Neiman said.
“I believe in the power of God even though we face death. I see death full-time as a paramedic and as a firefighter.”
Neiman was the 2003 firefighter of the year in Florida.
First Baptist Church will be honoring all emergency providers — fire/rescue and law enforcement.
Sheriff Brad Steube is also scheduled to speak at the 10:50 a.m. service.
Pete Rodewald, director of childrens worship at the church, said this will be First Baptist’s first service to recognize first responders.
“We would encourage anyone to attend and share their appreciation with first responders,” he said. “We want to take this opportunity to show appreciation for those who lay their lives on the line everyday.”
For more information about the service, call the church at 746-2149. For more information about Lt. Neiman, visit http://www.tommyneiman.com/
Nick Walter, Herald staff writer, can be reached at 745-7013.