SPRINGFIELD – Some of the people who needed healing the most, the first responders, those who risked their lives in the face of tragedy and who witnessed what happened on Table Rock Lake one year ago.

Today, those people were honored in Branson.

Chrystal Blair stopped by Cox Hospital for the Salute to First Responders luncheon.

It was a free barbecue that was planned for outdoors, but the excessive heat drove the event indoors.

It is an annual luncheon, and today marked the 4th year of Cox Medical Center in Branson, dished out the eats and treats for our first responders.

“Four years ago, you know.. the national rhetoric about first responders was kind of negative sometimes and that’s just not how we feel here in Branson about our first responders,” William Mahoney, president of Cox Medical Center in Branson said.

Mahoney handed out plaques to first responders from all around the Branson area.

Mahoney says this annual barbecue is designed to let them know how much their service is appreciated. He says the luncheon is held annually and this year they chose to have it on today, the one year anniversary of the duck boat tragedy, In Memoriam of those who lost their lives, and in honor of those who helped save lives.

“This year obviously, the one year anniversary of the Duck Boat tragedy, it’s a little different,” Mahoney said. “We’re going to be a little bit more focused and we’re going to give them plaques and just individually acknowledge each department, police, the fire, the EMS who helped out that day a year ago.”

“It’s nice to be honored, but we’re honestly just doing our job. It’s what we do, it’s what we signed up to do,” Chris Morgan, Battalion Chief for Branson Fire said. “But, it’s always nice to know that people notice it.”