VIDOR, Texas — Sunday will mark 21 years since the the 2001 terrorist attacks when hijackers took control of commercial planes in order to use them as missiles, crashing into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.
Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks by al-Qaida. The U.S. and its allies responded by launching the Afghanistan war.
Southeast Texas firefighters plan to walk 9.11 miles Saturday, September 10 at Raymond Gould park in Vidor in memory of the first responders who gave their lives on 9/11.
Their goal is for the community to feel what it's like to walk in their shoes. They're inviting people to either walk or gather to cheer people on.
September 11 is an especially emotional day for first responders, who pause to remember the sacrifice many made that day to rescue those trapped high in the buildings and trapped in rubble.
"The way we operate in the fire industry, a lot of it comes from the things that happened that day. The way we do our business and the way we run calls and our infrastructure is because of what happened that day. So, we owe them a lot," said Refinery Terminal Fire Company Firefighter Larry Williams.
Williams says the message of never forgetting is what is really the most important.
"It's a firefighter crossing the Manhattan Bridge, he is carrying his bunker gear. He was walking to the twin towers and the traffic was so bad," he said. "Something that inspired this walk is there is a lot of firefighters who had to walk along ways to get there too."
Firefighters are encouraging people to walk in the procession or stand on the sides of Main Street, cheering with flags.
"Nothing can come between us on September 11th, you will see it if you get involved in this walk. The people come together, what it really feels like to be an American. Why we stand up for the red, white and blue, it brings you home," Williams said.
The community can also help by volunteering or donating items like water.
"If they want to bring some waters, we aren't going to turn anybody away, as far as cases of water goes or any electrolyte drinks like that. If they want to drop them off before the walk starts or even after the walk they are more than welcome," Williams said.