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“Cry Out, America!” urges people to unite

All Americans had something in common on Sept. 11, 2001, and will continue to do so for every anniversary thereafter.

For the seventh year following the attacks on New York and Washington, people who choose to will be bound together by one more thing.

Thursday marks the first observance of “Cry Out, America!” The event’s physical purpose is to bring people together on the steps their respective county courthouses.

Spiritually, it is meant to unite people no matter where they are.

“After 9/11, there was a real peaked interest of citizens of this nation to turn back to the Lord,” said Shelby High, event organizer in Dallas County. “Then as things changed and time got by that crisis period, there was a very significant drop in that. We see our nation at a real crossroads with a lot of issues.”

The Awakening America Alliance, based in Cleveland, Tenn., states its purpose as bringing awareness to the spiritual need within society. The organization began “Cry Out America!” nationally.

Thursday, people will be asked to give up the hour of 12-1 p.m. in their respective time zones to join others in their counties to pray and remember the friends, family members and all others lost in one of the most historic days in the country’s history.

High said she knew of no one else in Dallas County promoting the event, which prompted her to action.

“It’s something that has marked our lives and this nation for generations and generations afterward,” High said. “I think we were horrified that we were vulnerable and open to that kind of attack. It was an alarming event in that way that I think has caused all of us to re-evaluate where we are.”

High acknowledged that not everyone grew closer to God after those fateful events.

But “Cry Out, America!” is meant for people of all denominations and backgrounds that are still trying to make sense of the attacks on American soil.

“I think that our faith can be shaken, and we do question things. But that’s to me, more a reason to join together in the community of faith that we have in our area so that we can support each other and hear each other and undergird each other,” High said. “There’s strength and power in that unity.”