SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Fifteen years ago Sunday marked the deadliest terror attack in our nation's history where almost 3,000 lives were lost. Standing united with the rest of America, East Texans gathered in remembrance of this tragic day.
"It's all very important. It all comes down to, 'Take care of America,' and I, for one, will never back down from that," said Glenda Harrison, a resident of San Augustine and one that helped plan the memorial event held at the San Augustine County Courthouse.
This was the second annual American Main Street event, and Harrison said that it began as a way for citizens of the county to gather and reflect on this day in our nation's history, and honor local first responders for their sacrifice.
"We need to step up and support all areas - firefighters, police, our EMS teams. We need to let them know that our communities have their backs," Harrison said. "And to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
For officers that were honored at Sunday's memorial service their appreciation for the community's support was evident. Jeff Cox, a retired Texas Parks and Wildlife officer as well as a veteran, thanked not only the community, but his wife, who organized the event for their dedication in honoring first responders.
"It's very encouraging to us to see this kind of support," Cox said. "This is an opportunity for people to see us as fathers, and sons and brothers and sisters also."
Various dignitaries from the county spoke on behalf of their appreciation for the local law enforcement presence, and the work all first responders do every day. State Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) shared his own appreciation.
"It is because of them and many others that continue to sacrifice for this great country that we are able to do what we did today, enjoy our freedom, and come together as a community and thank all of those that selflessly gave," Ashby said.
It was a way to commemorate the almost 3,000 lives that were tragically cut short, and the resilience of America to come together and support each other in times of tragedy.
"I think its important that we come together on this day every year and honor the sacrifices certainly that were made on September 11th, but also those that continue to stand in harm's way," Ashby said. "Both in our nation's military and right here in our hometown communities."
The special tribute was celebrated with the National Anthem, a traditional BBQ, and the opportunity to thank a local first responder for the sacrifices they make each and every day.