East Texans talk about what 9/11 stirred inside them

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – It's been nine years since America was attacked, in New York, and in Washington. Saturday, East Texans join with the rest of the country in saying they can never forget what happened on September 11, 2001.

Before the sun can rise, Duane Freeman is at Lufkin First Assembly lining church lawns with 100 American flags.

"It not only gives honor on a day that our country was at its deepest crisis since Pearl Harbor, but it also reminds us that people should look to God for hope and help during the most tragic of times," said Freeman.

Just across town at the Spirit of America Park, a group of pastors, firefighters, and Christians hold a special 911 prayer ceremony, honoring those who sacrificed their lives to help others.

"They selflessly gave everything they had to give for strangers, people they didn't even know and I think even today, it's what we're still doing," said Lufkin firefighter Mack Grace.

They remember our nation nine years ago, in the midst of tragedy.

"People attended church. We became more patriotic. We began to realize America was a nation blessed of God. Sadly it seems we've drifted away from that," said Pastor of Eastview Pentecostal Church David Hunt.

Today, they pray for a new spiritual awakening.

"The warfare that's really going on between classes, between religions, between people, it's just really very dangerous. Somewhere we need to come back to being who we are, our principles, and our values and stand strong in that," said Bob Flournoy.

To close the ceremony, a retch is placed at the foot of the eagle monument.

"We have to protect our freedom. The eagle monument symbolizes freedoms, patriotism, community, love of God and country and this is the way we reacted after 911," said Genie Flournoy.

They say the nation can find this unity again, through the power of prayer.

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