Eight years — almost to the moment — after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, they came to remember, to pray, to hear a song, listen to a poem and to honor those “citizens who became heroes, who gave their lives for this country.”

Speaker for Friday’s “In Honor and Remembrance” program, was Jim Looby, a retired U.S. Navy chaplain and pastor at Blanket First Baptist Church. And to the small gathering of people, who because of the rain threat had moved from the scheduled location at the Depot Plaza to inside to the VFW Post 3278 building off Crockett Drive, Looby suggested, “You remember where you were, don’t you? You remember exactly what you were doing when you heard the news.”

Every one of the several dozen in the room nodded his or her head.

Looby continued to share the memory that as the news of the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center was almost sinking in, a second plane hit the second tower.

“We started to realize, this was no accident,” Looby said. And all day long, as the crisis continued to unfold, and the news got worse and worse and people stood and watched the replays of the crashes into the towers on their television sets, “We all thought, ‘It needs to stop. It needs to go away.’

“We need to remember,” Looby said. “If not we, then who?”

That day took away an innocence that the world will never have again, Looby said.

“But it did not take away our freedom. We will not stand by and let it. I will stand against that that will take away my freedom and liberty.”

Looby spoke of the people going to work Sept. 11, 2001, “who within minutes had their lives snuffed out. Those folks were citizens who became heroes. They were citizens like you and me.”