20 years later...Remembering 9/11 and honoring first responders

Melissa Cantu Trevino
Alice Echo News Journal

"In New York City something happened that never, never in a million years you would think would happen in this land - our United States of America," said Rotarian Miguel Casarez during a tribute to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Twenty years ago, America was under attack and while South Texas wasn't part of the attacks the events that unfolded that September Day in 2001, South Texans have never seized to remember.

On Saturday, Sept. 11, the Alice Rotary Club held a tribute to the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks.

Nineteen militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, according to History.com.

Alice Fire Department Color Guard present colors as Alice JROTC Choir sing National Anthem.
City of Alice police and Jim Wells County sheriff deputies attend 9/11 tribute held by Alice Rotary Club.

"If the country was ever united or had a sense of unity it was that day. Where there were no lines drawn, other than we are Americans. Brown, white, blue, yellow, we were all Americans," Casarez said. "We made a promise to never forget what happened to our fellow Americans."

The American Flag flies high during 9/11 Memorial in Alice, Texas.

The nation was tested 20 years ago, said Alice Mayor Cynthia Carrasco. 

"We became one at this trying time," she said before sharing a poem written to honor 9/11 by an unknown writer.

Casarez along with City of Alice first responders present ceremonial wreath during 9/11 tribute.
20th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Alice High School's JROTC salute the American Flag at 9/11 tribute.
City of Alice and Jim Wells County officials with local first responders and local veterans.

County Judge Juan Rodriguez told the crowd they need to continue to educate others about the historic and tragic day in American history. He said it should be in the minds and hearts of everyone everyday for many heroes serve selflessly while sacrificing their lives especially during tiring times.

"We will never forget those (who) were lost in 9/11 and the bravery of many," Carrasco said. 

The United Veterans Burial Association ended the ceremony with a 21 gun salute and Taps.