SALINAS, Calif. - With fresh memories from the tragic events of 9/11 still heavy on their minds more than a decade later, community members gathered at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Salinas for a service of remembrance.
"I remember that day quite clearly, it was a sad day," said church goer Trudy.
"When the first tower came down my first thought was how many brother and sister firefighters have we lost," said Salinas Fire Department Chief Ed Rodriguez.
Honoring those who did and did not survive, while also remembering where we are as a nation today, the sermon was titled, "One Thousand Paper Cranes."
"It's Japanese tradition that if you can fold 1000 cranes you bring hope into the world," said Northminster Presbyterian Church Rev. Andy Rausch.
"Things have changed so much and they keep on changing and not all for the better," said Northminster parishioner May Hushback.
The message hit on the need for mutual respect for one another and from one nation to another.
"There's so much fear in our world today," said Rausch. "We're going to focus on how do we get rid of that fear. How to bring the peace into the world and get rid of the fear that's causing us to hate our neighbors and those that look different than we do."
Remembering the history of 9/11 so that the horrific events aren't repeated again was also part of the message.
"Now we have people that go out with guns in their hands and they attack someone because of their belief, because of your lifestyle that we saw in Orlando," said Rodriguez. "Or now they're attacking people that wear uniforms, police officers, firefighters. As a nation we need to come together and say enough is enough. I want my family back. I want by community back."
At the end of the service the congregation individually made commitments to peace by making their own paper cranes with prayers written on them.
Northminster also held a night prayer service to pray for peace throughout the world.