Wednesday morning, a message of unity echoed at a memorial prayer service in Rockford. Residents and community leaders gathered at the Colonial Village Mall.
Rockford residents of many tongues, faiths, and backgrounds shared their thoughts on how Sept. 11 affected our world, and brought Americans together.
Illinois Senator Dave Syverson 34th District says, "Yes Americans are bonded forever by the events of Sept. 11. No matter what part of the country you're from, no matter your political party, no matter race or religion, we have a common thread that bonds us."
That common thread spurred Americans and stateliners into action, giving their time, money and even blood. Rockford's mayor says the anniversary of the attacks is a good time to renew that spirit.
Mayor Doug Scott says, "Because one lesson we learned a year ago is that need can strike anyone at anytime. And I believe our lives will be measured by what we've done for others."
Song and prayer set a somber tone at the service, but one Rockford firefighter says there is some good that has come from tragedy.
"You see a lot more people showing respect for the flag and appreciating our people and what they do,” says Joe Corl of firefighter union 413.
Sept. 11 will always serve as a reminder of evil and destruction, but it will also bring Americans of all backgrounds together to remember and celebrate our freedom.