The Woodlands Township honors patriots, first responders of September 11, 2001

By: The Woodlands Township
| Published 09/14/2021

Township Chairman of the Board Gordy Bunch addresses the crowd at the Patriot Day of Remembrance hosted by The Woodlands Township on Saturday, September 11, 2021.

THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Woodlands Township and Board of Directors hosted two events on September 11, 2021, 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 each and every day.

The Township hosted the Patriot Day of Remembrance at 7:30 a.m. at The Woodlands Central Fire Station. Fire Chief Palmer Buck welcomed the group and offered remarks. Marlies Fitch Ledbetter sang the National Anthem and Township Director Jason Nelson offered the invocation. Chairman of the Board Gordy Bunch addressed the gathering on behalf of the Board of Directors, before reading a proclamation in honor of those lost.

“We remember the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States,” said Chairman Bunch. “Twenty years later, the aftermath of the heinous acts remains with those who suffered the loss of a loved one or experienced the horrific events first-hand at ground zero. Today, 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.”

Chief Buck and fellow firefighters read aloud each name of the 343 firefighter lives lost.

Congressman Kevin Brady also addressed the gathering, recalling the tragedies and heroism of that day and during the ensuing years as first responders and military have continued to battle terrorism at home and abroad.

“On this twentieth anniversary, I pray that we never forget the innocent lives lost on that day 20 years ago nor the heroism of our first responders and the everyday Americans who brought Flight 93’s terrorist mission to an end,” Congressman Brady said. “And joining them in our hearts are the brave men and women of our military who have sacrificed their years, their lives and their dreams to keep us safe in the years since.”

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. Bagpiper Patrick Salmon commemorated the solemnity of the ceremony with a rendition of “Amazing Grace” before closing remarks by Chief Buck.

At 3 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 Marlies Fitch Ledbetter sang the National Anthem before performing alongside the band the OG’s.

Chairman Gordy Bunch opened the ceremony with remarks and a proclamation in honor of all first responders.

“I want to salute all of the agencies that serve The Woodlands, which are all represented and here with us today,” Chairman Bunch said. “These individuals work around the clock to ensure the safety of our residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 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: Fire Chief Palmer Buck of The Woodlands Fire Department, Captain Tim Holifield of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, District Chief Coty Aiken 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 shared commitment to public safety.

Following the speakers, “Taps” was performed by trumpeter Darryl Bayer. Bagpiper Patrick Salmon closed the event with a performance of “God Bless America.”

To watch the ceremonies, please visit The Woodlands Township Facebook page at For more information about The Woodlands Township, please call 281-210-3800 or visit

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