USAMRDC, Local Leaders Gather for 9/11 Remembrance
Just before delivering prepared remarks on the enduring significance of Sept. 11 to a room full of first responders and law enforcement officers, United States Army Medical Research and Development Command Brig. Gen. Michael Talley made a brief departure, inserting a quick – and personal – anecdote about his own connection to the day while a military university student in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
"We didn't have a lot of cell phones back in those days," said Talley, "but pretty soon after the news broke, all the students in my seminar were watching television, and we all saw the [World Trade Center] towers collapse."
Later, flashing forward to the impact of Sept. 11 on his ensuing combat deployment as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Talley said, "You better believe that during our huddles before each day's work over there, we were thinking about 9/11."
Talley's personal touch – coming during a speech at the September 11 Tribute ceremony at the Frederick City Hall in Frederick, Maryland – added even more emotional heft to a morning filled with somber awareness and quiet personal reflection. From the larger memorial events in New York City and Washington, D.C., to simpler events in smaller municipalities across the U.S., the ceremonies marking the 18-year anniversary of the terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people were notable for their focus on the enduring global impact of the day's events.
Additional speakers at the remembrance event in Frederick included County Executive Jan Gardner, who pointed to county-wide contributions to larger Sept. 11 emergency response efforts as point of local pride.
"Back then, the streets of Frederick were draped in red, white, and blue," said Gardner regarding the immediate aftermath of the terror attack. "Now, it is our duty to educate younger generations of Americans about what happened that day."
The ceremony concluded with a proclamation – signed by both city and county lawmakers, as well as Talley – marking Sept. 11, 2019 as Patriot Day in Frederick County.
For his part, Talley concluded his remarks on a note in praise of the U.S. military – in particular the men and women who have dedicated their lives to service following the events of Sept. 11.
"We now have our first generation of soldiers, sailors, and marines who were born after that date," said Talley in closing. "Those who are enlisted now understand the stakes."