SAN AUGUSTINE, Texas (KTRE) - San Augustine resident Loretta Bedford steps up to the podium to rehearse a presentation on an event we will never forget.
"Sept. 11, 200, a tragic, horrifying day in our history," Bedford reads.
A lot of work goes into "An American Main Street", the annual remembrance of the loss of lives to 2,997 people. The effort, sponsored by the San Augustine Main Street Program, says a lot about a small town.
"In our little town we have folks who are patriots,” says event coordinator Glenda Harrison. “This event has grown every year and it’s become an event that is talked about and we want to keep it going."
Janice Moore makes enough peach cobbler for 200 guests. She says planning just falls together.
"We’ve all been together and we just feed off of each other. We just know what to do," explains Moore.
But why do they go to the trouble.? Eighteen years have passed. Another generation needs to know.
"You hit one of the biggest nails on the head. In fact, every year at this event we have youth come in,” says Harrison. “They help. They'll be greeters at the door. Very important."
Also, it’s a time to recognize first responders, particularly this year following a damaging tornado.
In neighboring Shelby County, the East Texas Press hosted its first Patriot observance in Center. First responders came from adjoining counties.
Event coordinator Dr. Marsha Barnett says, "There are several us here in Shelby County trying to unite all the surrounding counties, so we can all work as one."
Captain Joey Hudnall with the Tenaha Police Department agrees.
"We are one team. We need to work together. We need to respond together. We need to train together. That's very important," said Hudnall.
The first responders comment how life has changed for so many since 9/11.
Fortunately, there are those to remind all the others that the worse of events can lead to recovery.
“It’s horrible to have something like that happen. It’s beautiful to see how people come together after,” says Harrison as she makes one last check of her preparation list.