Cities and towns surrounding Fort Hood paused Tuesday to honor everyone affected by the 9-11 attacks.
Soldiers, rescuers and families gathered at Killeen High School for a ceremony and Freedom Walk.
Stephanie Newell watched the ceremony from the stands, clinging to a photo of her husband, SSG Queston Newell, as the community came around her and pledged never to forget those who rose up to defend them after 9-11.
Queston was one of them.
He died of a heart attack in their home this past Independence Day.
"He joined to defend his country. He loved America. He loved the values that America was founded on, and he gave everything to defend those and keep them safe for us," said Stephanie.
So hundreds of grateful feet hit the stadium track to show their respect.
They walked in honor of the thousands of Americans who have been killed and nearly 50-thousand troops who have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
COL Tim Karcher is among those wounded.
He lost his legs in an explosion in Iraq in 2009.
So today his wife, Alesia, and their three daughters marched for him.
"It's such an important event in our history, and it's so important that we never forget that day and the sacrifices that had been made," said Alesia.
After the walk, a bell tolled eleven times for those who died that fateful September day.
And as Stephanie puts one foot in front of the other, she knows deep down she doesn't have to walk alone.
"I would have preferred to have my husband here walking beside me, I know that he was here with me in spirit though," said Stephanie, still holding Queston's photo close.
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