County Comment: Guest authors: Kevin Lewis, Director, Washington County Division of Emergency Services

CAPTION: Washington County Teacher of the Year Katharine Long honored by Commissioner Bill McKinley


County Comment
Guest authors: Kevin Lewis, Director, Washington County Division of Emergency Services, Verna Brown, Coordinator, Office of Emergency Management, Washington County, Maryland
By Norman Bassett, Public Information Officer

PIO Note: Washington County's Citizen Corps has secured a structural component artifact of one of the Twin Towers destroyed by terrorist attack in New York City on September 11th, 2001, to be permanently displayed in the Emergency Services Remembrance Garden in Hagerstown City Park. Unveiling of the artifact will be held as part of the annual remembrance ceremony on September 13th, at 7pm. The following article was submitted by the Division of Emergency Services.
September 11, 2001 at 8:46am, the day that life as we knew it in America was changed forever. Terrorist through hijacked jetliners simultaneously attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside of Washington. Also, United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
The terrorist attack on America claimed the lives of 2,977 civilians. Of those civilians, when the hijacked airplanes were flown into the Twin Towers, World Trade Center, there were 343 firefighters and 60 police officers from New York City and the Port Authority of whom lost their lives. Three buildings in the World Trade Center Complex collapsed due to structural failure on the day of the attack. The South Tower fell at approximately 9:59am after burning for 56 minutes in a fire caused by the impact of United Airlines Flight 175. The North Tower collapsed at 10:28am after burning for approximately 102 minutes. When the North Tower collapsed, debris that fell on the nearby building, 7 World Trade Center, was damaged and initiated additional fires. These fires burned for hours and compromised the building's structural integrity, which led to the crumbling of the East Penthouse at 5:20pm and to the complete collapse of the building at 5:21pm.
The Washington County Citizen Corps Committee announces that they will be sending a truck and a crew of two to pick up an artifact from the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. An artifact committee was formed consisting of Verna Brown, Emergency Management Coordinator for Washington County Division of Emergency Services; Tom Brown Jr., Professional Services Administrator for Washington County Division of Emergency Services; Junior Mason, Parks Superintendent from the City of Hagerstown Park Department; Brad Stotelmyer, City of Hagerstown Crime Analysis Unit, and Sam Anderson, Emergency Services Planner for Washington County Division of Emergency Services. The committee started to write letters requesting an artifact from NYC to be placed in Hagerstown's City Park in the Emergency Services Remembrance Garden. "This was a two year venture and Citizen Corp's members wanted to have an artifact from NYC placed at City Park as a way of honoring and remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice," says Verna Brown, Co-Chair of the Citizen Corps.
In 2002, the Washington County Citizen Corps started to develop a portion of City Park that has become known as Washington County Emergency Services Remembrance Garden. This portion of the park has been dedicated to active military, career firefighters, volunteer firefighters, emergency medical service providers and law enforcement personnel. This area consists of a Walk of Honor, and trees planted for those since 2001 that have lost their lives in the line of duty. "The artifact will be a constant reminder and tribute to those who lost their lives during the attacks of September 11," says Director of Emergency Services Kevin Lewis". A memorial service has been held at the Garden every year since 2002.
Tom Brown Jr. and Sam Anderson will be leaving very early Thursday morning (May 12) to pick up the artifact. Utilizing a vehicle provided by the Department of Special Operations, they will be arriving back in Hagerstown Thursday evening. They will have an escort provided by the Maryland State Police, Washington County Sheriff's Department, and the City of Hagerstown Police Department. Junior Mason, Parks Superintendent for the City of Hagerstown, will receive the artifact on behalf of Washington County Citizen Corps and will prepare the artifact and place it in the park. The unveiling of the artifact will be on September 13, 2011 at 7pm in the Emergency Services Remembrance Garden. This unveiling will be open to the public.