Commander Woody Harrison was a military defense contractor in 2001. He lived just 10 miles from the twin towers.
"When those towers came down that was like a personal attack on us," Harrison told a group of first responders outside the San Augustine Police Department.
Glenda Harrison, Woody's wife, couldn't believe what was happening near her home of 20 years.
"It was surreal. This is not happening," Glenda recalled.
They both have losses. Glenda chimed a bell as a veteran called out the groups of people who lost their lives that day.
"Of course, me being an old retired army guy led me to the Pentagon enough times, more than I want to remember, but we knew some of the people there," said Woody.
The couple share their story with San Augustine first responders as a way to say thank you for the worthy professions.
There was an installation ceremony of new flags for the police department and San Augustine schools. They are gifts from San Augustine Memorial Post 9313 and American Legion Post 387.
A high school student sings the lyric, "That a hero lies in you," while another reads from a poem, "We are the power one. We are united. We are America." It shows they too understand the heroes around them are important.
Glenda Harrison handed out laminated cards of a tearful eagle she painted shortly after the 2001 tragedy. On the other side a picture of the twin towers and the words, 'Remember Sept. 11, 2001.
"Our first responders, we owe them everything. Do not ever forget," said Glenda.
The Patriot Day event is held each year. Next year the event will take place in Broaddus.