Com­mu­nity re­mem­bers 9/11 tragedy

Record Observer - - Front Page - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

GRASONVILLE — The Jetty Restau­rant and Dock Bar was packed with peo­ple the evening of Sun­day, Sept. 11, as com­mu­nity mem­bers gath­ered to honor the sac­ri­fices first re­spon­ders and mil­i­tary mem­bers make daily for the free­doms ev­ery Amer­i­can has dur­ing the an­nual Salute to the He­roes re­mem­brance event.

As al­ways, the Amer­i­can flag flew high, drap­ing from the lad­ders of the Church Hill and Grasonville vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments’ firetrucks out­side of the restau­rant. Randy Welch and Rob Mur­ray, play­ing the bag­pipes and snare drum,

re­spec­tively, guided about 20 event par­tic­i­pants into the restau­rant and around the out­door deck over­look­ing the wa­ter. The bar was filled with fire­fight­ers, EMS per­son­nel, po­lice, mil­i­tary and vet­er­ans who greeted the pro­ces­sion with ap­plause and thanks.

Justin Davis with the Grasonville VFD, who has or­ga­nized the an­nual event for the past 11 years, greeted the au­di­ence and gave thanks to the fam­ily of Bruce Smith, a Grasonville VFD mem­ber who died in May. He lit a can­dle next to an en­larged photo of Smith.

Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sioner Jack Wil­son be­gan the cer­e­mony with the Pledge of Al­le­giance, which was fol­lowed by a per­for­mance of the “Star Span­gled Ban­ner” by Olivia Grace Kelly and Jamie Pott.

The Sol­diers Creed, read by United States Marine Corps Sgt. Rebecca Fletcher, was greeted with “hoorahs” and loud ap­plaiuse. The EMS Prayer, read by As­sis­tant EMS Chief Scott Wheat­ley, the Po­lice­man’s Prayer, read by Lt. Mark Meil of the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, and the Fire­man’s Prayer, read by Dan Mautz, were said aloud. At the end of Meil’s prayer, he read poem, en­ti­tled, “I’m Just Like You,” by an un­known au­thor.

“I have been where you fear to be; I have seen what you fear to see; I have done what you fear to do; All th­ese things I have done for you,” the poem be­gan.

Jacqueline Ol­son with the Mary­land State Fire­man’s As­so­ci­a­tion said not to for­get those who made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice the day the United States was at­tacked by ter­ror­ists, as well as not to for­get the vic­tims of the sur­vivors and their fam­i­lies.

“As we try to look for some good or spark in that tragic event, I re­flect on how this day, Sept. 11, has be­come the na­tional day of ser­vice as well as re­mem­brance,” Ol­son said. “... Pres­i­dent Bush is­sued af­ter that tragic event a chal­lenge to all Amer­i­cans to make the time to help their neigh­bors, their com­mu­nity and the na­tion through ser­vice. We to­day, the State of Mary­land and its 370 vol­un­teer fire, res­cue and EMS com­pa­nies and de­part­ments, en­cour­age peo­ple and their com­mu­nity to work to­gether to meet the needs of the city or town that they love.”

As Davis stood on the stage, he re­marked that so much has changed in the past 15 years af­ter the at­tacks, but not in the “fear we shared as we watched the planes crash into the World Trade Cen­ter Tow­ers, the Pen­tagon and the field in Shanksville, Penn. Or when we saw the tow­ers fall, re­al­iz­ing all the lives that had just been lost. Friends, moth­ers, fa­thers, sons, daugh­ters, ever ything we be­lieved about free­dom was chal­lenged in a mat­ter of a few hours by an en­emy try­ing to in­still fear and de­stroy this coun­try.”

Davis said im­me­di­ately af­ter Sept. 11, 2001, the na­tion be­came pa­tri­otic, fly­ing flags from their homes, over­passes, bridges and build­ings. He said fam­i­lies would stop by the fire sta­tion and pro­vide the crew with food and drinks, as well as some just com­ing by to say thank you.

That pa­tri­o­tism, he said, has be­gan to fade in re­cent years as the coun­try has be­come di­vided in many ways. “Black Lives Mat­ter. White Lives Mat­ter. Po­lice and Fire­fight­ers be­ing as­saulted and even killed,” Davis said. “This must stop now be­cause Amer­i­can lives mat­ter.”

Davis said the na­tion needs to get back to core val­ues like car­ing for each other, help­ing one an­other and help­ing in the heal­ing process.

Bill Reem closed out the re­mem­brance with a per­for­mance of the song “Taps.”

The event was spon­sored by Bar Crawler En­ter­tain­ment, The Jetty Dock Bar, A-Shore Out Bail Bonds, Vape Bird, All Amer­i­can Awards and Print­ing, Cross­bones Tat­too and Body Pierc­ing, and Bay Breeze Clean­ing LLC.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

The Grasonville and Church Hill Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ments raised the Amer­i­can Flag in front of the Jetty Dock Bar be­fore the an­nual Salute to the He­roes 9/11 re­mem­brance event on Sun­day, Sept. 11.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Capt. Matt Bauer reads the Fire­man’s Prayer dur­ing the 2016 Salute to the He­roes 9/11 re­mem­brance event at the Jetty Dock Bar in Grasonville on Sun­day, Sept. 11.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Be­fore the Salute to the He­roes cer­e­mony be­gan on Sun­day, Sept. 11, a can­dle was lit in re­mem­brance of Grasonville Vol­un­teer Fire Depar­ment’s Bruce Smith, who died in May of 2016.

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