Mt. Juliet was the venue for a Nashville photographer who took free pictures of about 40 police officers and their families this weekend on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks.
The free photo shoot took place at Gravel Road Traditions and there were various patriotic vignette backdrops that showcased the flag, along with the families.
This free service in honor of these law enforcement officers was two-fold, said veteran photographer Cilene Bosch. She wanted to lift the morale of those in the police profession and also pay tribute to those officers killed on 9/11. She knows on that day 72 New York City police officers were among the 2,977 killed in the multi-faceted terrorist attack Sept. 11, 2001.
"The police department has had a lot of bad publicity the last few months," she said. "No profession should be painted with a broad brush. This Police Appreciation Portrait day gives me a way to say we care for their service and thank you."
Metro Police Det. Gregg Jennings was there with his family.
"It's great," he said. "I know it's great for someone to go out of their way for us, this proves that the things we hear sometimes are the minority, not the majority."
Members of that majority came to volunteer their time to pull off Bosch's inaugural free tribute photo shoot. She said five different photographers showed up to help out with the event, as well as about 20 others on the list to help take pictures and others to simply do whatever was needed.
"We had a ton of local sponsors to help make this happen," said Bosch.
And it was a hot labor of love on Saturday when temps soared into the mid 90s by mid afternoon. It cooled down Sunday, which was a busy day there.
One of the favorite "props" of the officers was an antique red truck draped with an American flag.
Both Bosch's granddaughter and daughter live in Mt. Juliet.
"I really love this town," she said. "Our biggest response has been from Mt. Juliet, and it shows this community stands by their police department and steps up. It's humbling to see."
Most of the officers, in turn, were humbled at the gesture on such a significant weekend.
When editing of the photos is complete, Bosch will deliver the 16-inch-by-20-inch portraits to the respective police departments.
Mt. Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick was unable to attend the photo shoot on Sunday because he preached at two different churches and attended a special 9/11 service. However, he felt most likely some of his officers went to the shoot.
"We certainly appreciate the recognition for law enforcement and first responders," he said. "This was very generous to provide for our officers and their families."
Later on Sunday, the Mid Cumberland Young Marines conducted a color guard ceremony, prayed for the country and observed a moment of silence.
Writer Laurie Everett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.