September 11, 2006
Five years ago, America was only hours into the aftermath of attacks that claimed thousands of lives.
Today people in Columbia County paid tribute to the victims of 9/11 throughout the day.
People gathered at the Evans Memorial Garden to honor our local heroes.
The day started as emergency responders lowered the flag to half staff at the Justice Center. A crowd watched as firefighters and deputies paid tribute to all the heroes who gave their lives trying rescue trapped victims.
There was also a moment of silence, giving people a chance to say a prayer for lost loved ones and reflect on how this has changed our country.
Wesley United Methodist opened its doors throughout the day to anyone who wanted to come pray.
We talked to a Martinez-Columbia firefighter who says his thoughts go out to the all the victims, the fallen heroes, and the families.
"It hurts as a fellow brother...even if it's so many hours away," said Eng. Jeremy Kendrick. "You think about what their family is going through, you think about what the brothers that survived are going through...it affects everybody."
Kathy Crutchfield and her husband Robert spent time with 9/11 firefighters during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
"I respect them probably more than you could ever imagine," Kathy said.
"They've seen a lot, lost a lot of their friends...you could feel it," said Robert.
For some, facing the aftermath means fighting harder for freedom.
"They train hard, dedicated to what they do, and believe in serving our President and serving our country," said SFC Holt of the US Army.
Others turn to their faith.
"As difficult as the experience was, just as in all things, the most difficult moments are also the most influential, and they give the opportunity to grow and become stronger," Rev. Greg Porterfield of Wesley United Methodist told News 12.
"All I can do is pray the Lord brings us together," said Kathy.
"You think about it every day," Eng. Kendrick said. "Even though 9/11 only comes around once a year, you still think about it. You still think what could happen."
It's a day to remember the terror that struck American soil and the heroes who gave their lives trying to save our loved ones.