As the sun began to descend near Catoctin Mountain Friday evening, more than 100 people gathered at Memorial Park in Thurmont to remember the thousands of lives lost 19 years ago.
Those gathered as part of a community tribute, a first-time event held and hosted by the Thurmont Lions Club. They were assisted by the American Legion Post 168, Scout Troop 270, local chapters of the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution and the Gateway
Brass Ensemble, who played patriotic tunes throughout.
George Bolling, past president of The Thurmont Lions Club, credited its current president, Susan Favorite, for having the “vision” to help organize what they hope will now be an annual event.
Bolling’s memories of Sept. 11, 2001, are “very vivid.” His daughter Bethany lived in New York at the time.
“Naturally, the very first thing I felt, ‘Is she safe?’” he said before Friday’s event. “Of course, I’m seeing a tragedy unfold on television. Before they turned the cellular service off, I was able to get her on the
phone. That was marvelous, and it just flooded my heart with joy that she’s OK.”
“But then, you start worrying
about everyone else,” he added.
Multiple current and past elected officials attended Friday, including former county commissioner Blaine Young, Del. Jesse Pippy and Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird.
Kinnaird was proud of the sizable crowd that attended Friday, and acknowledged the Scouts, Gateway Brass Ensemble, color guards and other individuals who participated.
“Everything the Lions Club does is community minded, laid out and well executed,” Kinnaird said.
Favorite did her part, with the event’s main remembrance address to the crowd. Throughout, it was a call for community members to unite and look out for each other, to honor the 2,977 lives lost 19 years ago.
“Think of the good they could have done, and do it for them,” she said.
Both Bolling and Favorite said they hope Friday’s event is the first of many to come, in order to never forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001.
Before the tribute, Favorite said she remembers the day well. First, she got a call at work about the north tower of the World Trade Center being hit. Then, she got more calls and was watching the news as the south tower was hit, and realized what was occurring was not an accident.
“I think everybody was just stunned ... that doesn’t happen here, but it did,” Favorite said.
She added that on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Lions Club put a marker in remembrance of the event. And it was nice to see both young and old people Friday, paying respects.
“I think that’s important, because the younger folks ... they need to know about it as well, they need to know what happened, and see the impact of it ... the impact is going to be felt [for] years and years and years.”