CROWN POINT — A bell rang outside of the First United Methodist Church of Crown Point Wednesday evening as the sun was setting.

Silence followed as a U.S. flag was raised during a memorial service.

Although there was no noise, the people there reflected on the heroes who sacrificed themselves to save others on 9/11.

“We come to hallow the memory of those who lost their lives, of those who served, of those who so selflessly gave themselves on that day and since, and through that inspiration, we come to reunite once more as one community and one people,” said the Rev. Mark Wilkins, pastor of First United Methodist Church.

Wilkins gave accounts of those who immediately went into action during the attacks.

He described how passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 banded together to fight against the terrorists who hijacked the plane.

Following their actions, the plane crashed into an empty field in Pennsylvania, killing all on board. It was later learned the likely target was the U.S. Capitol building.

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“In sacrificing their lives, they saved the lives of hundreds and perhaps thousands in our nation's capital and saved the lives of those elected officials whose job it would be to lead us from that day,” Wilkins said.

He said it was on that terrible day that people didn't allow differences to separate them.

“In that one moment, in that moment of sorrow and hardship, we truly became one nation under God,” Wilkins said.

Much has changed since then, and there are divisions within the country, Wilkins said. He encouraged those at the service to be inspired to unite the country.

“The voices of the heroes of 9/11 call us to do something better,” Wilkins said, “The voices of those who sacrificed call us once more to dedicate ourselves to rebuilding this nation.”

Although Wednesday's service has concluded, the First United Methodist Church isn't finished honoring those who have protected their community.

At 11 a.m. Sept. 22, the parish will have a dedication and service for a Lake County first responders monument at the church at 352 S. Main St.

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