The people of South Mississippi are taking time to reflect and remember the tragedy of September 11th. Several observances were held along the coast Friday and others will follow on Saturday.
Such ceremonies reflect both the grief of a national tragedy and the pride that comes with being an American.
"Our lives were dramatically changed that day, as was the life of our nation," said Rev. James Strum as he opened an observance on the lawn of the Methodist Retirement Community.
Residents began the day with reflection and remembrance.
"We come here today to remember and honor three thousand sixteen people who died in that long day," he said.
Those gathered sought strength and comfort from above.
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, those will revive me. Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies," the minister prayed.
Employees of the Biloxi VA observed a moment of silence and reflection. They lifted prayers for America's leaders.
Rev. Gary Morris led the congregation in prayer.
"To our President, his cabinet, congress and to city, state and national leaders, give them wisdom and sound judgment," he said.
A message from the head of the nation's VA recalled the hope that endured on nine eleven.
"An American flag, tattered but true, rose above the debris to remind us that our nation endures and it will never bow to evil," Biloxi VA director Julie Catellier said, reading from a letter.
"One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," said the students of Gulfport Middle School, as they presented the pledge.
They saluted soldiers, firefighters and police officers. They also spoke of a nation united.
"As we gave our blood in lines a mile long, we became one body. As we mourned together the great loss, we became one family," students read from a poem.
Long Beach Middle School students also remembered.
Patriotism and pride filled the gymnasium at Long Beach Middle School. Youngsters spoke and sang about American pride, American patriots, and American tears.