LA GRANDE — On a day that is difficult for first responders across the country, two local businesses gave back to those that risk their lives.

On the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Conklin Insurance Agency bought lunch for local firefighters, law enforcement and first responders at Tap That Growlers on Adams Avenue.

“They never get thanked for anything, the fire department, police officers and first responders,” said Nate Conklin, of Conklin Insurance Agency. “Especially on 9/11, they were the ones that did everything and this is just a way for us to say thanks.”

The lunch event filled most of the tables at Tap That Growlers, as first responders and their families enjoyed some leisure and camaraderie. Devin Cornford, a retired firefighter who is one of the owners of Tap That Growlers, holds first responders close to the heart.

“I still remember walking into work that day and watching the towers come down. It was terrible,” he said.

Cornford was pleased with the solid turnout and hoped that everyone enjoyed themselves. He gave credit to Conklin for buying the meals and expects to continue holding the event on Sept. 11 in years to come.

“We love partnering with him on it and it’s a great thing, just giving back a bit,” he said.

The event took place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and included red, white and blue decorations. Conklin said that the entire goal is to show appreciation for first responders, especially on a day that means so much.

“These guys don’t have a holiday and don’t always get the credit they deserve. It’s a really thankless job,” he said. “It’s just a way for us to say thank you.”

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