The events of Sept. 11 forever changed the lives of a lot of people.
For a small community in Texas, however, the life-altering changes came in the days and weeks after the terrorist's deeds were done.
Raisuddin Bhuiyan was shot at point-blank range by a white supremacist who entered the convenience store in which he worked in Dallas 10 days after the attacks that shook America.
Mark Stroman would later admit that he was angry after the events of 9/11. He went on a shooting rampage, intent on killing people of Middle-Eastern descent.
Stroman shot three people, all convenience store workers or owners, including Bhuiyan -- the lone survivor.
"Once he shot me, it felt like a million bees where stinging my face. I looked down and saw blood pouring like a faucet," Bhuiyan said.
On Saturday, Bhuiyan brought his message of hope and determination to Goldsboro, speaking to an audience of about 100 at the Goldsboro Event Center located on Slocumb Street.
Bhuiyan said that he promised God after being shot that if he were allowed to live, he would dedicate his life to helping the less fortunate.
He has done just that.
Bhuiyan created a program to help communities afflicted with gun violence called A World Without Hate.
But before he could get there, the Bangladesh-born Muslim had to endure his own moral crisis. After getting to a point he could forgive God, he determined a new path for his life in America.
The first step -- forgiving Stroman.
"I told him that I forgave him for trying to kill me," Bhuiyan said.
In fact, he and Stroman spoke several times, he said.
A more detailed account of the intersection of the two men's lives is available in the 2014 book by Anand Giridhara, "The True American, Murder and Mercy in Texas."
In it, Giridhara details Bhuiyan's path to America from Bangladesh, leaving behind a career in that nation's Air force to come to America seeking an education and career in computer engineering.
After being shot by Stroman, Bhuiyan finds his path to forgiveness after months of suffering physically and emotionally and succumbing to the fear of leaving the house.
His journey takes him as far as fighting for the life of the man who tried to take his own. Bhuiyan lobbied the state of Texas to commute Stroman's death sentence to one of life in prison.
Stroman's eventual execution further propelled Bhuiyan to where he is today, taking his program on the road, to communities such as this one, where a perceived need is met with people willing to get involved.
Dennis Atwood, a Goldsboro resident, said that it was important for his to come out and hear such an inspiring message.
"I leave here with hope knowing that forgiveness can be stronger than hate," Atwood said.
Khalil Cobb, who is the founder of Impact Teens and a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, attended the event and said that the message was inspiring.
"To see someone who was shot in the face and did not give up is amazing," Cobb said.
The event Saturday is part of a, grassroots project by the women of St. Francis Episcopal Church and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and Impact Teens Goldsboro to help promote positive change and a reduction of violent crime in the area.
The visit is part of a larger picture to bring the World Without Hate Empathy Ambassadors Leadership Training Program to Goldsboro.
Empathy Ambassadors is a multifaceted program that provides tools for conflict resolution, isolation, bullying, harassment and discrimination. It also encourages community building, with a focus on valuing all people regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexuality and socioeconomic status.