With law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMTs among the audience Monday morning, speakers at Victory Life Church remembered the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.
    In addition to reflecting on the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center twin towers and damaged the Pentagon, speakers honored first responders as heroes who run to danger.
    Victory Life community pastor Rick Phelps said Sept. 11, 2001 began as a “a normal day, a nice sunny day” and ended as “one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. People lost their lives because of the evil intent of others.”
    Phelps introduced Dave Fair, who was serving as a police chaplain when he and fellow chaplain Dan Chapman deployed to Ground Zero, where the twin towers fell.
     “We live in the greatest country on the earth,” Fair said. “We have a choice to become either victims or survivors. “It’s time now to be survivors. We need to keep on praying, keep on loving and keep on being faithful to do what we know in our heart is right, just and moral.
    “God is with us in the storms of life. The Bible says he will never leave us nor forsake us.”
    KTXS-TV reporter Joshua Peguero recalled sitting near a window in his New York City high school as a 14-year-old student when the terrorists flew the planes into the twin towers. “All I could hear was siren after siren,” Peguero said.
    He recalled seeing “a big, thick cloud of dust, mushrooming up to the sky. Peguero told of watching news reports throughout the week about the funerals of the first responders who died that day. “That’s what giving yourself to a greater cause and higher purpose is all about,” Peguero said.
    “The New York attitude is that when they attack you and when they knock you down, come back even stronger and build a bigger tower, and that’s exactly what we did.”
    Victory Life pastor Stan Roberts, referring to the numerous first responders present, said history is being written “by the committed lives of these men and women, and I believe it is through their determined resolve of vision and purpose.
    “You look at these men and women that are here … are they common and normal? Not by a long shot. What drives them is not normal. It’s their resolve that they have. … Literally when they put on that uniform, they don’t look at things like we look at things. Their vision drives them to do things differently.
    “Their calling resonated with their vision of need. Many times we run from disaster. They run into disaster. They run in to resolve it. They see the need. What we see is the results. What they see as doing their job and a job well done, we see it as an act of heroism.”
    Roberts continued, “Why they do that is because of their passion. They feel like they have no other choice but to fulfill a calling that’s in their heart to serve. They see things as, someone has to do it, someone has to make it happen. It might as well be me.”