Saturday marks 20 years since one of the most somber days in the country’s history — the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Nine years ago, one local woman, Ruth Larson, sought to bring a national movement that coincides with that fateful day to Baldwin County. Known as “Cry Out America,” the effort encourages people to lift the country in focused prayer. This year’s event is slated for 9 a.m. Saturday at the Baldwin County government annex located at 1601 N. Columbia St. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.
“With how our nation is right now, I believe that we are in desperate need of prayer,” said Larson, who brought Cry Out America here in 2012.
Cry Out America is a national call to prayer that has been held on 9/11 each year since 2008. It encourages people to meet at their respective county courthouses for a time of focused intercession for America on Patriot Day, which Cry Out America says has become synonymous with solemn reflection, patriotism, and public events, especially prayer gatherings.
Larson said between 70 and 100 people usually attend locally each year with the exception of 2020 when numbers were down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was formerly held at the old county courthouse, which is just across the street from the current courthouse. Last year it was moved to the Peace Monument in front of the current courthouse and efforts were combined with the Baldwin County Fire Department’s annual 9/11 gathering.
The coordinator Larson pointed out that this event is not meant to be a political one, but rather a religious movement to pray for America as it reflects on the events of 9/11.
“It’s not political, and it’s interdenominational,” she said. “People of any Christian denomination are welcome.”