As dawn broke on Tyler's downtown square, people prayed.
"I just ask your blessing on those who suffered a great loss," asks one Robert E. Lee student in prayer.
Two years later, the attacks on new York, the Pentagon and all of America are still fresh for these young, patriotic East Texans.
"When I got up and saw the date on my alarm clock, 9/11, it was really hard to see and sad to remember all the people that lost their lives," says Amy Shipsky.
"It didn't really click because it was so far away, but then it really struck a lot of patriotism in me," says Seth Templeton.
That rebirth of patriotism and a return to prayer is what students at Thursday's "Awareness 9/11" commemoration say comforts them.
"What has come about since then, the amazing response from the country, the people have just risen up, taken the charge and taken the call to make a difference in the world and make it a safer place for us," says Bryan Carter.
Here was the challenge of the day from Teen Mania's Ron Luce, to respect the past, accept the present in hopes of securing the future.
"My question for us this morning is this, did we hit the snooze alarm or did we wake up?" asks Ron Luce.
"I think it makes a big statement to the rest of the country that as far as teenagers we're choosing to stand up and support everybody," says George Stalin. "Our local fire department, police department just to show the gratitude."
Flags lowered, songs for Americans and a moment of silence were brief chances to show the families who lost their loved ones on this day in 2001, young East Texans won't forget.