DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- For many across the state and the country, the 17th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001 served as a day to remember.
Tuesday night in Dubuque, churchgoers at Faith Temple United Penecostal Church congregated on an atypical day. But this Tuesday, they felt it was important to remember what happened 17 years ago.
"Not just in honoring the lives that were lost, but remembering, to me, it was kind of a wake-up moment for the United States," said Rev. Lynn A. Spicer of the Faith Temple United Penecostal Church.
He recalled the day of and days after September 11, 2001 as a time they constantly received calls for help, at one point staying open for 48 hours straight.
"I have never seen a time where people cried out to God, the way they cried out to God," Rev. Spicer said.
Members of the church told stories of where they were, and how they remember that day. Rev. Spicer said he believes through moments like theirs in church, it will bring the country closer together.
"We have a destiny," Rev. Spicer said. "And we have to remember what preserved us and kept us. That's important to me."
From Dubuque to Cedar Rapids and beyond, many groups and schools in the state recalled what happened in 2001 in different ways.
Schools across the state used social studies and history classes to remember the day in history.
"I think the impact it's hard on us and our country as a whole is really important to keep talking about," said Abby Greiman, a senior at Dallas-Center-Grimes High School in Grimes.
Some local restaurants provided free meals to first responders, as a way to show appreciation for the local heroes.
"That's really what we want to do, just give back and give thanks one day," said Eric Frantz, the owner of Edith Lucille's Baith Shack and Wing Depot in Cedar Rapids. "And we're fortunate enough to be able to do that."
Many law enforcement agencies and first responders from across the state took to Facebook encouraging people to never forget the events nearly two decades ago. The Iowa State Patrol posted they had recruits climb 110 flights of stairs- to represent the 110 floors of the World Trade Center towers.
And many other first responders, like the Decorah Volunteer Fire Department held a memorial service earlier Tuesday morning.