The Woodlands Township honors Patriot Day and first responders of September 11

By: The Woodlands Township
| Published 09/14/2018

Chairman of the Board Gordy Bunch welcomed the crowd.

THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- The Woodlands Township and Board of Directors hosted two special ceremonies on September 11, 2018, in honor of those who perished during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and in recognition of first responders who continue to faithfully protect and serve the community. The Patriot Day of Remembrance was held at 7:30 a.m. at The Woodlands Central Fire Station. First Responders Day was held at 5:30 p.m. at Town Green Park.

“We are here today to remember the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives during September 11,” Township Chairman Gordy Bunch said. “Of these individuals, more than 400 were first responders, who courageously entered harm’s way to help retrieve survivors and those who had perished. We honor and remember not only those who were lost, but the first responders who worked tirelessly to rescue the victims on September 11, 2001, and the victims who are still with us today.”

U.S. Rep Kevin Brady attended the morning ceremony and gave remarks. Brady was serving in Washington, D.C., during the attacks, and recalled the events of that day vividly.

“Seventeen years ago, our nation was the target of the deadliest terrorist attack in history,” said Brady. “The 400 first responders lost that day were all heroes, who rushed into action, knowing they might not make it out. Even though it has been 17 years, we still remember. We remember these brave Americans and the sacrifice they made. We will be forever grateful for their courage and their heroism.”

After a reading of the Firefighter’s Prayer, the firefighters in attendance took part in The Ringing of the Bell. The bell tolled in four times, in honor of the 343 firefighters, eight paramedics and more than 70 law enforcement officers who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

At the First Responders Day ceremony, Chairman Bunch said, “Today, we gather to honor and give thanks to all first responders who serve our great hometown. The Woodlands residents and businesses are so fortunate to have the best fire department in the country, exceptional EMT’s and EMS services and a Sheriff and Constable Office that goes above and beyond for us.”

Guest speakers included Battalion Chief Mitch Hubbard of The Woodlands Fire Department, who was a member of one of the first task force teams at Ground Zero, Captain Tim Holifield of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Chief James Campbell of Montgomery County Hospital District and Sergeant Mike Ruby of Harris County Constable’s Office.

Each speaker offered a reflection on the meaning of their work as first responders, referring to it as a calling and a vocation. All four speakers also referenced the significance of the losses suffered during September 11, 2001, and the courage that being a first responder requires.

Following the speakers, Richard Kean closed the ceremony with a performance of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipe.

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