We Remember: Community Honors Lives Lost on 9/11 and Looks to the Future

HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Although we are hundreds of miles from New York, many Tennessee Valley residents have ties to the towers. On Sunday, Alabamians came together to remember the lives lost 21 years ago.

The vigil at Hartselle was an occasion for prayer and remembrance as many shared their memories of the September 11 attacks.

“I had family members who worked in that building,” event organizer George Hearring said.

Hearring has held this unity prayer vigil on the anniversary of 9/11 for seven years.

“I wanted to do this on an annual basis in remembrance of what happened,” Hearring said.

Along with honoring those we’ve lost, Hearring said the community has an opportunity to look to its future.

“Honor God,” Hearring said. “Praise Him for our lives, what we’ve been through, and the path we’ve come. How far do we still have time to go.

At Sunday’s vigil, some shared their memories of the attacks 21 years ago.

“We will learn later that Janice perished in this attack, said Trevor Woods. “So this day is a little painful for me because we all know the memory, but I know someone.

Other speakers reflected on the current division of our nation.

“You don’t have to look far to see a lot of injuries in our country and in our world,” said Hartselle Police Chief Justin Barley.

However, the darkest times often have the power to bring people together.

“We have to come together as a group of people, as a nation,” Hearring said.

Hearring said he hopes to continue to hold annual 9/11 unity prayer vigils in the years to come.