THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (September 13, 2019) – The Woodlands Township and Board of Directors hosted two events on September 11, 2019, in memory of those who were lost during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and in honor of the first responders who continue to selflessly serve the community today.
The Township hosted the Patriot Day of Remembrance at 7:30 a.m. at The Woodlands Central Fire Station. Interim Fire Chief Doug Adams welcomed the group and offered remarks, along with the Posting of Colors by The Woodlands Fire Department Honor Guard. Caroline Freeman sang the National Anthem and Chaplain Pat Pechacek offered the invocation.
Township Director John Anthony Brown addressed the gathering on behalf of the Board of Directors.“The effects of September 11, 2001 are still felt here in our community, as well as the other communities that make up our great country,” Director Brown said. “The pain and suffering does not stop with those who lost a loved one, friend or family member. It lingers with all who experienced the sights, sounds and sensations of being near the World Trade Center on that fateful morning.”
Interim Chief Adams also encouraged the crowd to remember and thank the first responders of 9/11 and in the community.“We take today, on September 11, to remember those who were lost – all of the victims, from firefighters to those who simply went to work that morning,” said Interim Chief Adams. “It changed all of us forever. The New York Fire Department lost 343 firefighters that day. Many continue to suffer even now, both mentally and physically from diseases that were caused by exposure at Ground Zero. Take this day to remember them and to thank those around you for their service.”
After a reading of the Firefighter’s Prayer, the firefighters took part in The Ringing of the Bell, in honor of the 343 firefighters, eight paramedics and more than 70 law enforcement officers who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Following the bell ceremony, the group observed a moment of silence.
At 5:30 p.m., the Township hosted First Responders Day in Town Green Park. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard made the Presentation of Colors and Mady Tozer sang the National Anthem. Sergeant Mike Evans, of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Corps, offered the invocation.
“Today, we gather to honor and give thanks to all first responders who serve our great hometown,” said Township Director Dr. Ann K. Snyder. “I want to salute all of the agencies that serve The Woodlands, which are all represented and here with us today. By recognizing First Responders Day in The Woodlands, our hope is to provide a proper awareness and much needed recognition of our community first responders who have served and/or continue to serve The Woodlands, ultimately making it a safe and desirable place to live and thrive.”
The ceremony included four guest speakers: Interim Fire Chief Doug Adams of The Woodlands Fire Department, Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson, Deputy Chief Thomas Darst of the Montgomery County Hospital District and Captain Jonathon Zitzmann of the Harris County Constable’s Office.
Each speaker offered a reflection on the meaning of their work as first responders, noting how the events of September 11 forever changed emergency response efforts and reinforced their commitment to public safety.
Following the speakers, Richard Kean closed the evening with a performance of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipe.
To watch the ceremonies, please visit The Woodlands Township Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheWoodlandsTownship. For more information about The Woodlands Township, please call 281-210-3800 or visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov.
PHOTO: The Woodlands Township and Board of Directors hosted First Responders Day on September 11, 2019, in honor of first responders. Pictured from left to right are Sgt. Mike Evans, Capt. Jonathan Zitzmann, Deputy Chief James Darst, Township Director Carol Stromatt, Township Secretary Dr. Ann K. Snyder, Interim Fire Chief Doug Adams and Sheriff Rand Henderson.