Washington County Honors 20th Anniversary of September 11
Buddy DuPriest said he became a volunteer firefighter with the Hagerstown Fire Department five years ago to honor the first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and to help people.
When the attacks took place, he was on the roof of a financial center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., As part of a building reclamation team. He said he heard about the attacks on the radio. As construction superintendent, he sent his team home for the day.
On Tuesday evening, he stood among other local first responders at the Washington County commemoration ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC
Holding his hat over his heart, he spoke the words to the national anthem as it was sung at the ceremony outside the Hagerstown Regional Airport fire hall, a huge American flag hanging from a ladder firefighters reaching for the sky.
“You have to be a little crazy,” he said solemnly of firefighters who run into fires while others run away.
DuPriest, 63, who grew up in Long Island, NY, said he had friends from high school who responded to the World Trade Center towers that morning 20 years ago. They all survived.
Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore on Tuesday cited the number of firefighters and police who died on Sept. 11, 2001. He said more than 450 other first responders, including firefighters and police, have died from toxins qu ‘they breathed in trying to find survivors and, later, the remains of those who did not.
Mullendore said he could not imagine the sheer terror that the passengers and crews of the ill-fated planes suffered that day, and the losses that continue to this day.
The first jet struck the north tower of the World Trade Center at 8.46 am. While many people still wondered how such an accident could have happened, a second jet struck the South Tower at 9:03 am.
It was no accident.
Then at 9:37 a.m., a third plane that had been picked up by Al-Qaida hijackers crashed into the Pentagon.
United Airlines Flight 93, its passengers and crew fighting back, crashed in a field north of Somerset, Pa., At 10:03 a.m.
A total of 2,977 people died and about 25,000 others were injured on September 11, 2001, as a result of the terrorist attacks.
The trauma of that day “continues to affect people with visible and invisible wounds,” Reverend Rich “Chappy” Bower said at the local ceremony blessing. Bower is Chief Chaplain of the Washington County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association and Chief Chaplain of the Maryland Fire Chiefs Association.
The ceremony also honored those who have died in the line of duty, Washington County residents who have died in the line of duty while serving in the military or in the local fire, rescue or police service. .
Hagerstown Police Chief Paul “Joey” Kifer and Washington County Emergency Services Director R. David Hays took turns reading their names while Dale Fishack, president of the volunteers, rang a bell for every lost life.
Among those names were county natives Craig Wibberley and Patrick Roy, both 19 when the sailors were among those killed on October 12, 2000, while aboard the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of ‘Aden.
Cole’s attack was also linked to al-Qaida.
Where they were when the planes hit
Like many alive when the 9/11 attacks took place, Ed Shindle Jr., commander of the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co. honor guard and retired Hagerstown Fire firefighter, remembers his whereabouts. .
He was off duty at the Maugansville fire station, watching the towers get hit on national television news.
“I knew the New York firefighters would be involved in the rescue,” said Shindle, 61. And, he said, he knew when he saw the first tower fall that the New York firefighters would take casualties.
Serving as the guard of honor at solemn events like the remembrance ceremony helps ensure that the people they honor are “well cared for,” he said.
Local deaths in the performance of their duties
At the 9/11 commemoration ceremony in Washington County on Tuesday, local officials also paid tribute to the 25 Washington County residents who have died in the line of duty over the past decades. They served in the army or served for firefighters, rescue or law enforcement when they died in the line of duty.
- Firefighter John Fridinger, volunteer with the Hagerstown Fire Department, engine 3
- Officer Murphy Flory, Hagerstown Police Department
- Firefighter William Negley, career firefighter with the Hagerstown Fire Department, Truck 1
- Officer George Fridinger, Hagerstown Police Department
- Firefighter Walter Sharar, volunteer with the Hagerstown Fire Department, engine 2
- Officer Lynn Newcomer, Hagerstown Police Department
- Chief George Zimmerman, volunteer with Williamsport Volunteer Fire & EMS
- Officer John Middlekauff, Hagerstown Police Department
- Officer Clinton R. Rhodes, Maryland State Police
- Officer Charles Gall, Hagerstown Police Department
- Cavalier 1st Class Lauren Ridge, Maryland State Police
- Officer Donald Kline, Hagerstown Police Department
- Firefighter Frederick White, career firefighter with the Hagerstown Fire Department, Engine 2
- Deputy Thomas Hardy, Washington County Sheriff’s Office
- Cpl. Gregory A. May, Maryland State Police
- Private Larry E. Small, Maryland State Police
- Firefighter Joseph Kroboth Jr., volunteer with the Volunteer Fire Company of Halfway
- Seaman Craig Wibberley, US Navy
- Firefighter Patrick Roy, US Navy
- Officer Jeffery Wroten, Maryland Division of Correction
- Cpl. Maung P. “Samuel” Htaik, US Marines
- Petty Officer Second Class Mark Mayo, US Navy
- Paramedic Hubert “JR” E. Harrison, career with the Community Rescue Service
- Officer Christopher Nicholson, Smithsburg Police Department
- Firefighter Mitchell Dobbins, volunteer with the Hagerstown Fire Department, Engine 4