Patriot Day of Remembrance in The Woodlands Honors the Fallen on 9/11 and Recognizes First Responders

By: Rachel Norton
| Published 09/11/2020

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THE WOODLANDS, TX – Remembrance and reflection; two sentiments that should be carried out on this day, September 11. This morning, The Woodlands Township held a ceremony at The Woodlands Central Fire Station in honor of the fallen and in recognition of first responders. The ceremony included a Presentation of Colors by The Woodlands Fire Department Honor Guard along with a reading of The Fireman’s Prayer and The Ringing of the Bell in honor of fallen firefighters.

“Today we remember those we lost in that Pennsylvania field at the Pentagon, and as the World Trade Center fell, and remember those that we lost later in the war on terror, and the ones we continue to lose every day, to illness related to the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero,” said Fire Chief Palmer Buck.

The Ringing of the Bell was performed in honor of those fallen firefighters. It is a tradition that spans over 200 years. “When a firefighter has died in the line of duty, made the supreme sacrifice, it was the toll of the bell that solemnly announced the comrade’s passing,” said Lieutenant John Cantarella. Today this symbol is used to honor and respect those who have given so much and have served so well.

“To symbolize devotion for these brave souls after their duty; a special signal of 5-6-7 will represent the 343 New York Firefighter line-of-duty deaths and the 224 New York Firefighters that have been added to the memorial,” Cantarella said moments before the bell tolled.

A speech from Congressman Kevin Brady followed. He recounted his personal experience of that fateful day, September 11, 2001. He spoke of how members of congress from both parties stood on the Capitol steps singing God Bless America.

“The terrorists that attacked us thought they would destroy our spirit, break down our resolve and forever change the very idea of what it means to be American,” he said. “Instead, the world saw us come together in a tremendous showing of unity and patriotism … We are forever grateful for the heroism of first responders - our police officers, firefighters, medical professionals, who selflessly rushed into action at Ground Zero and the Pentagon as well. On that day, Americans who only thought they knew what first responders did, witnessed firsthand the unbelievable courage and bravery of these everyday heroes, these heroes who we call neighbors, and friends, and who walk among us each day.”

“Our challenge as a nation and as a community is to never forget … the terror and the heroism, the attack on our American way of life, and following that, the great American spirit that simply refused to crumble with the Twin Towers … Thankfully, we have a daily reminder here of the American spirit … to remind us of what a remarkable nation we truly are. It is our firefighters, our first responders, our law enforcement. [They] embody the American spirit. [They] are the best of us; the courage, the bravery, the sacrifice.”

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