KILLEEN, Texas – A special Freedom Walk was hosted at Killeen High School on Wednesday. It honored the men and women who died 18 years ago on September 11, 2001.
“We have to remember that on 9/11, some horrible, horrific things happened to our nation. And it wasn’t about just one group of people, it was about all people. Our society was attacked,” says Reese Davis, Killeen Police Department Commander.
Hundreds not only walked alongside local heroes, but also thanked them for their service.
“Coming down here today, 18 years later, we are affirming that we will not forget. We made a pledge 18 years ago. We won’t forget what our men and women died for. We won’t forget. We’ll never forget,” Davis says.
Eleven gold star families who lost loved ones in the line of duty also took part in Wednesday’s walk.
“To show my child there are not only her father who was a hero, the public servants of 9/11. She hasn’t experienced that, but we did. And we are passing it on to our now generation and letting them see our history. Knowing where we came from and how he got to where we are today is very important,” says Ashley Hudgins, whose husband died in the line of duty.
Hudgins’ husband was killed in Iraq. She says 9/11 brought along life lessons.
“It teaches us to be cautious, to be careful, and how our nation has changed,” Hudgins adds.
The 9/11 ceremony also gave the next generation a look back at the tragedy which forever changed our country.
“This event that changed the course of our nation, as well as the lives of so many took place before my peers and I were born,” says James Jones, Harker Heights High School Junior.
Jones is 16 years old. He says although he wasn’t alive when it happened, he will always remember those killed.
“My grandfather was in the Army, so I still have a big amount of respect for our soldiers and everybody who is in uniform because everybody matters,” Jones says.
Demonstrating that no matter the age, September 11, 2001 is a moment we will all feel for the rest of our lives.
“You can forgive people. Don’t forget what happened,” Davis says.