BROWNWOOD, Texas - More than 100 people in the Brownwood community gathered Wednesday morning to remember the 12th anniversary of 9/11.
A ceremony was held at the new American Red Cross center to pay tribute to heroes who lost their lives in the national tragedy. as well as the local heroes who make sacrifices for their community and loved ones.
"I think it's very important that we honor those who choose to put their lives on the line every day," Janet Karcher said. Karcher is the executive director of the American Red Cross West Central Texas Chapter, which includes the Brownwood and San Angelo regions. "They do it because they love it and they want to help."
Members of Brownwood's fire department, police department and Guardian EMS attended the public event.
Two Brownwood Chaplains were at Ground Zero just several days after the attack to help with the rescue and recovery effort.
Chaplain for the Brownwood Police Department, Dr. Dan Chapman, said being at Ground Zero was a life-changing experience he will never forget.
"The smell was horrible. You could go to your motel room that night and try to shower and you could still have that scent of the World Trade Center." Dr. Chapman said the hardest part was seeing posters of missing family members.
"It looked like a huge wrecking yard. Just hundreds of hundreds of feet of everything you could think of piled on top of each other," Chaplain for the Brownwood Police Department Dave Fair said. "All of the papers that had been shredded from the blast covered the ground and it looked like you were standing in the snow. It was a very surrealistic feeling to be there."
Brownwood's Fire Chief Del Albright said this tragedy is a reminder to those in the life-risking profession to always be prepared.
"It could happen anywhere, any place, anytime to any first responder."
Fire Chief Albright, Chief of Police Mike Corley and Mayor Stephen Haynes were among the speakers who shared their recollection of the national tragedy at Wednesday's event.