THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (September 11, 2023) – The Woodlands Township hosted Patriot Day of Remembrance on September 11, 2023, in memory of those who were lost during the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and in honor of the first responders who continue to bravely protect and serve the community.
The Patriot Day of Remembrance ceremony began at 7:30 a.m. at The Woodlands Central Fire Station. Fire Chief Palmer Buck welcomed the group and offered remarks, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a performance of the National Anthem by Shelby Stroud.
“Today, we remember the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States,” said Chief Buck. “Of these individuals, 343 were firefighters for the FDNY who courageously entered harm’s way to help retrieve survivors and those who had perished. Twenty-two years later, the aftermath of those 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 also the first responders and others who worked tirelessly to rescue the victims on September 11, 2001.”
After Chief Buck’s reading of a proclamation on behalf of The Woodlands Township Board of Directors, Firefighter Nathan Perez led the group in a bell ceremony known as Striking the Four Fives, in honor of the 343 firefighters, eight paramedics and more than 70 law enforcement officers who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Bells play a major role in the life and work of a firefighter, marking the start of a shift, notifying departments of calls for help and heralding the safe return of a unit after a call. The Striking of Four Fives is a time-honored tradition, signaling the end of watch for a firefighter after perishing in the line of duty.
Following the bell ceremony and the reading of The Fireman’s Prayer, Chief Buck gave closing remarks remembering 9/11 and the unexpected events that befell the firefighters, other first responders and civilians on a day that began as ordinary. He also paid tribute to those who have died in the years since as a result of illnesses related to toxic exposure during the attacks. He encouraged the crowd to remember and reflect on the impact of 9/11 and the many ways in which communities and first responders come together to survive and thrive through tragedy.
Bagpiper Patrick Salmon concluded the ceremony with a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
To watch the ceremony, please visit The Woodlands Township Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheWoodlandsTownship. For more information about The Woodlands Township, please call 281-210-3800 or visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov.
PHOTOS: The Woodlands Fire Department Chief Palmer Buck addresses the audience at the Township’s Patriot Day of Remembrance event on September 11, 2023. Members of The Woodlands Fire Department salute the flag during the Township’s Patriot Day of Remembrance event on September 11, 2023.