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A Good Way I Know to Honor Sept. 11 Victims

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on August 18, 2005:

Senator Dyson There have been terrible days in American history such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and this generationís worst day -- September 11, 2001.

These days shape the way we live and behave. As for September 11, 2001, the wounds are still very, very deep. Since that day, we have memorialized the date with a series of somber events that always feature a moment of silence. We should never, ever forget what happened on this most tragic of days.

I will never forget that day. It certainly is the most horrible day I can remember since I was in Great Mills High School as a freshman and we were shocked to find out that President Kennedy had been killed. The sense of sadness and dread was enormous.

However, the September 11 attacks by terrorists, far eclipsed even the assassination of a popular president. On September 11, more than 3,000 innocent victims died at the hands of terrorists in New York City at the World Trade Centerís Twin Towers, the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania.

I know exactly where I was on that terrible day. I was at home preparing to go to a meeting at the St. Clementís Island-Potomac River Museum when I watched the television in shock as the airplanes flew into the Twin Towers. Soon after, the Pentagon was hit by another plane and rumors were rampant that Washington was under siege. As that and subsequent days passed, I heard numerous stories about the heroic efforts of the fire and rescue workers who risked their lives to save as many people as they could. The odds when they went in were not good, but they didnít think twice about it. These men and women -- many of whom perished -- saved countless lives.

Each year since that awful day, I have participated in several solemn memorial services. The year after the terrorist attacks that changed our world forever, I was invited to a local school in my district. I joined the school population to circle the Flag. Everyone in that school was standing, surrounding our U.S. and Maryland flags while we participated in the service. It was extremely poignant. Anyone traveling by the ceremony that day had to be moved. Some even stopped to watch.

Schools will not be open this September 11 because it falls on a Sunday. I am sure most of our churches will have special commemorations at their services.

This year, I will attend church then head to Annapolis to participate in a ceremony that I believe is extremely appropriate. On that day, I will be at the groundbreaking for the Maryland Fire-Rescue Service Memorial. This memorial will honor all of the Maryland Fire-Rescue Services Memorial. This memorial will honor all of Maryland fire and rescue workers who have died while on duty over the years.

I canít think of a better place to be on this hallowed day than to be at the location where the Maryland Fire-Rescue Services Memorial will stand. The organization in charge of the monument, specifically chose September 11 as the date to hold this groundbreaking ceremony in remembrance of their fallen comrades in New York and at the Pentagon.

We will no doubt take pause to remember those who crawled into the wreckage of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon to save lives, never to come out alive. And we will also remember the first responders who quickly rushed to the airplane that crashed in Pennsylvania as well as the bravery of the passengers -- knowing they faced imminent doom -- who voluntarily chose to overtake their captors and downed their own craft rather than causing mass casualties at either the Capitol or White House where that plane was reportedly heading.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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