East Texas Baptist University held a Patriot Day Chapel Service on September 11, 2017, to remember and honor those affected by the traumatic terrorists’ attacks on our nation that occurred 16 years ago. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the Marshall community joined to pray at the University’s chapel service for public servants, those still affected by the events that occurred in 2001, and American citizens and leaders to stand united. Reid Adams, ETBU’s Student Body President and ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn worked together to create this student-led prayer and memorial service.
“Today we remember those who were killed in those terrorist attacks. We take time to pray for family members of the more than 2,900 people who died that day,” Vice President for Advancement Scott Bryant shared. “The anniversary of September 11, 2001, provides our nation with the reminder of the bravery, courage, and honor of our first responders, police departments, fire departments, and other emergency personnel that regularly move towards danger instead of running from it. More than 400 first responders died that day as they sacrificially gave of themselves to try and save others.”
Many first responders from the Marshall community were in attendance at the ETBU prayer service, including Marshall Police Chief Ron Davis, Marshall Fire Department Chief Reggie Cooper, from the Marshall Fire Department, and Harrison County Sheriff Tom McCool. These leaders were acknowledged and thanked for their service with a standing ovation from an emotional crowd. The event focused on the power of prayer. First, a memorial video was viewed that recapped the events of the terrorists’ attacks in 2001 and gave a special prayer for those who serve as protectors of the public today. Then, the Founder of the Marshall Prayer Force, Dee Farmer, shared a special message about the importance of praying for law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel.
“September 11 is forever etched into my mind and what helplessness I felt then. Unfortunately, there has been tremendous other tragedies since that time, both manmade and natural, but we know that our hope is in the Lord,” Farmer said. “Honestly, it was the public servants that caught my attention. I thought they were unique heroes. The Lord showed me that He has enabled that same courage and dedication to the public, into those that work right here in Marshall. In Romans 13, we are instructed to pray for those in authority and that is what the Marshall Prayer Force is all about.”
Farmer gave an example of a prayer for public servants and called those in attendance to pray daily for leaders of ETBU, county, state, and country. This time of worship and remembrance was filled with scripture and prayer specifically for the Police, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Armed Forces, and those who lost loved ones in 2001. The ETBU Family surrounded the public servants in attendance and prayed for them and their families.
ETBU Student Body President Reid Adams stated, “This is a day where we have the opportunity to come together and praise God and glorify His name through what happened. What is it going to take for us as a nation to stand side by side because of what Christ did for us 2,000 years ago,” Adams continued. “God had a plan for all of it – a plan to bring America together again, a plan to bring us together for years to come, a plan to share the love of Christ, a plan to bring our nation back to God. Today, we stand side by side as believers in Christ with the ones who are still risking their lives today.”