In 2003, September 11th was designated as Texas First Responder Day after the historical 9/11. It is a day to honor the bravery, courage, and determination of Texas men and women who assist others in times of need. Across the country firefighters are considered a brotherhood. The lives lost in New York and more recently Hurricane Katrina, can be felt right here at home.
"One thing you always think of as a fireman is in New York City there were twice as many firemen who lost their lives as our whole department carries," remarked Lt. Mike Allison.
As rows of flags stood at the Reese Technology Center, 1,000 in all, they reminded everyone of the tragedy that occured four years ago.
"A national tragedy of any kind brings people together," said Lt. Allison.
The American Tribute reminds Lt. Allison, a member of the Lubbock Fire Department, what it means to be a firefigher.
"When you're a first responder your job is not just a job, it's a family, and that's why when you lose one of your coworkers, in any job its going to be tough but in the fire department we live together we spend lots of time together we depend on each other for our survival," stated Lt. Allison.
For the past two years, Lt. Allison has honored firefighters nationwide at the American Tribute in Lubbock. This year, as the stars and stripes flew in the West Texas wind, he paid tribute to his fellow brothers serving in the path of Katrina as well.
"When tragedy struck the firemen were out, and had to stay at the station, and respond even if their house was gone, some of them didn't know about their families. So it just makes you want to participate in anyway you can when you know what your brothers are going through."
If you are interested in purchasing an American Tribute flag or t-shirt, you can go to any Lubbock American State Bank. Flags are 25-dollars and t-shirts are 5-dollars. Proceeds benefit nursing education, and this year the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Breedlove.