First responders recognized and thanked at Greenville Drive game

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Hundreds of people honored Upstate first responders at the Greenville Drive Sunday afternoon.

All of the blue lives lost in recent weeks were also remembered at this year’s First Responders’ game day.

It’s an event that was planned long before what happened Sunday in Baton Rouge and last week in Dallas.

The game began with a moment of silence and prayer for those officers who lost their lives in recent weeks. They thanked all first responders for putting their lives on the line every day to protect our communities.Still0717_00001

“It definitely needed to be done. Especially here in Greenville, with all of the negative that’s been going on in Greenville,” said Kendall Carpenter, a Greenville Police officer’s girlfriend, before the game. “There has been some positive come out of it but it just shows that even in negative, we can always shine a light.”

Before the game, the Greenville Drive hosted an event called heroes alley. They lined up local EMS, firefighters and law enforcement for fans to meet and see what they do day-to-day.

“They aren’t all bad and they really are out here trying to make a difference,” Taylor Moore, a Greenville Police Officer’s wife, explained. “We can try to make a difference and show people what it’s really like and what these guys are really like.”

Kid’s were then able to join first responders in a parade around the baseball field before joining them in the stands for the game.

“It’s nice for them to be able to realize that they are just a dad, brother, boyfriend and they are someone to someone else just like they all have people in their families.”

The event has been held at the Greenville Drive before to honor and thank Upstate first responders. But for many this year, following the violence in our nation, the meaning was closer to their hearts.

Still0717_00002“They do a great job. They run in and risk their lives to save people,” Christopher Odom, a Greenville Drive fan added. “They deserve to be recognized for the good things that they do.”

“It is very scary especially with all of the recent protests and things, sitting at home and knowing that there is nothing you can do but you sit there and watch and hope and pray for the best,” Carpenter continued. “It can be scary at times.”

A portion of ticket sales from Sunday’s game is being given to the family of Greenville’s fallen officer Allen Jacobs. They also held a special celebration for him, retiring the jersey #32.Still0717_00000

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