County Firefighters, Police Commemorate September 11
About 80 people gathered at the 9/11 Memorial in front of the police and fire department headquarters in Millersville to observe a moment of silence.
Firefighters, police officers and citizens from around Anne Arundel County stood in the shadow of the 9/11 memorial in Millersville to pay their respects on Tuesday morning.
Fire Division Chief Michael Cox's radio crackled at 8:50 a.m. and a woman's voice asked for a moment of silence to honor all those who gave their lives on September 11.
The crowd of about 80 people bowed their heads.
Rev. Linda Schlicht, the fire department's chaplain, lead the crowd in prayer and asked for blessings upon "the families who have been left behind" and "all of those who are our first responders in fire and law enforcement."
County Executive John R. Leopold reminded those gathered that Maryland lost 68 of its own people on that tragic day 11 years ago, and he thanked local first responders for their continued service.
Leopold pushed to build the county memorial at the Police and Fire Department Headquarters in Millersville three years ago after he read a Wall Street Journal article about steel beams from the rubble of the Twin Towers being made available for memorials around the country.
The memorial was completed in 2011.
Sharon Devault came to observe the moment of silence because her family has a long history of being first responders. Her father was a Baltimore City police officer and her uncle was a Baltimore City firefighter.
She remembered hearing about the attacks over the radio while driving into work on Defense Highway.
"When the second plane hit my first thought was that's not an accident," Devault said. "By the time I got to my office it was a mess, everyone seemed to be crying."
Bernard, who asked that his last name be withheld for security purposes, brought his 5-month-old daughter to the memorial. He said he hopes to make it an annual tradition.
"I want her to grow up with a respect for law enforcement and firefighters," Bernard said. "I just want to start instilling that early."