|May We Never Forget 9/11/2001|
|By Clarence “Chip” Jewell|
|September 9, 2022|
On this 21st Anniversary
September 11, 2001, left an indelible image for the millions of people that watched the horror play out live on national television. The sight of the iconic Twin Towers blazing and collapsing will be forever etched in our memories. 2,753 people died in the collapse of the towers of the World Trade Center. Included in that number were 412 emergency services personnel: 343 New York City firefighters, 60 police officers, 8 private ambulance EMT/Paramedics and one member of the New York Fire Patrol.
The number of firefighters and police officers that have died due to illnesses suffered as a result of 9/11 multiplies the numbers of deaths on September 11, 2001, by many hundreds. The unknown number of civilians that have suffered from respiratory illnesses or cancers resulting from that day is lost to history.
Everyday citizens on four aircraft that suddenly became hostage to terror. 37 passengers and a crew of seven on United Flight 93 that knew their fate, but acted bravely to save others. Our Capitol, or White House, or possible another icon of our nation was saved, as well as possibly hundreds more lives, by the actions of the passengers and crew of Flight 93. We can never forget their sacrifices. The many heroes of 9/11 can never be forgotten.
We recognize September 11 as Patriots Day. Patriots still serve our country. On Aug. 11, 2021, Josh Laird, captain of Green Valley Station 25, responded on several alarms during a severe thunderstorm. His last alarm was a raging house fire on Ball Road. As a fire service honored tradition, Captain Josh Laird was posthumously promoted to battalion chief. Battalion Chief Laird is the twenty-ninth member of the fire and rescue service in Frederick County to die in the line of duty since 1840. Three years ago, Libertytown Firefighter Mike Powers collapsed and died on the scene of a rescue incident. We can never forget their dedication and service to Frederick County. We can never forget all those that have died in the line of duty.
Thirteen members of our military recently died protecting American citizens and those Afghan citizens that fled a crumbling nation. Thousands of our nation’s military have given the ultimate sacrifice around the world on foreign lands from Southeast Asia to the Middle East. Thousands more have died in world wars and military conflicts that our nation has been involved in. Hundreds of our forefathers gave their lives to build a democracy. We can never forget all of those that sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom.
During the COVID-19 crisis, food workers, store clerks, delivery personnel and thousands of other workers went over and above to ensure our economy continued to function. These dedicated employees made sure we had food on the table, gas for our automobiles and clothes to wear. Family members who took care of relatives and checked on their parents saved unknown lives. We can never forget their commitment.
September 11, 2001, was a day of patriots; individual heroism from total strangers, firefighters running into a structure knowing they may not come out alive, everyday heroes on aircraft that took the initiative to attack the terrorists to prevent further death and destruction.
Patriots fought to form our democracy. Tricorn hats and minutemen evoke images of patriots. Red helmets, blue badges, military fatigues and hospital scrubs have become today’s symbols of patriots. Patriots serve in the military to protect our freedoms and fight for the oppressed. Patriots respond daily to emergencies in our communities. Patriots fight COVID. Patriots are willing to serve and risk their lives to protect our world, our nation, our communities and our families. September 11 is Patriots Day.
We can never forget any of them.
Clarence “Chip” Jewell retired in 2017 as Deputy Chief/Director of the Division of Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services. He has been active in the fire service for 53 years, presently serving as president and assistant chief of the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department and is life member of the Junior Fire Co. No. 2. He is author of the recent book “History of Fire Companies in Frederick County, Maryland.”