East Texans participate in national movement, "Awakening in America"

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - East Texans are marking the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks with familiar rituals and a new dedication to service.  On a day designated as a National Day of Service, bells tolled and Americans across the nation stopped to remember the nearly three thousand people who died in the attacks.

Music filled the room at the Angelina County Courthouse in Lufkin as East Texas residents honored all of the men and women who lost their lives and the heroes who fought to save them during the attacks of September 11, 2001.  The memorial reminded people of the power of American citizens uniting in the midst of hardship.

Texas State Representative Jim McReynolds talked about remembering not only what the attacks did to the American people, but also what it stirred up inside of them.  This brings us together, it doesn't divide us. We need more of that in this state and in this nation."

As a part of the national movement known as "Awakening in America," the vigil was designed so that people could pray for God's guidance over America and its people.  "911 is a day we want to always remember. Not just for those who lost their lives in the attack, but for those responders, those heroes who put their lives on the line to try and rescue those survivors that might still be in the buildings."

Most Americans remember exactly what they were doing on the day of the attacks.  For many, it is a moment that defines them.  "There is a jillion things that flood over me on a day like today and I'll never forget that as long as I live," said Representative McReynolds.

"It personally awoke me to the nature of our enemy- those were innocent people. Those were not soldiers on a battlefield, those were moms, dads, brothers, sisters, those were people that had never done anything against that enemy," said David Hunt.

The general consensus among the participants was no matter where we are on this anniversary, or what we are doing, we will all remember to never forget.

Meanwhile, at Pineywoods Academy in Lufkin, firefighters, law enforcement and other special responders from across Angelina County gathered to remember the courage and sacrifice made during the 9-11 attacks.  There was a moment of silence, Taps played and a slide show of images from that fateful day.

"It's a special individual that does that type of thing, and we need to honor that, like I said, everyday, not just on a day like today," said organizer Steve Crain.  September 11, 2001, the day the world changed.