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The Frederick News-Post

FREDERICK REMEMBERS

20TH ANNIVERSARY 2001 - 2021

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A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT OF THE FREDERICK NEWS-POST


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September 11, 2021 | 9/11: FREDERICK REMEMBERS


9/11

We Honor and Remember

FREDERICK REMEMBERS

Where we were and where we’re going Sophomore English, Mrs. Kelley’s class. How about you? Every generation has one — at least one: an event that will remain etched in its collective memory. And not only do we recall vividly the moment itself, we remember damn near every detail of the day. For my generation, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is that moment. The power of memory becomes so crystallized amid and after days like 9/11. Even hundreds of miles away in Ohio, where I sat in Mrs. Kelley’s class — with seemingly no direct connection to the attacks — that sunny fall day stirred feelings of fear, anger and confusion. It quickly became obvious, though, that I did have a direct connection to the attack. As Americans, we all did. Our country was under attack, “our very way of life was under attack,” as President Bush told us later that night. The pain of 9/11 persists and cuts deeper for the families of Alan Patrick Linton Jr., William Ruth and Ronald Vauk, the three Frederick County residents who died during the attacks. Their stories and the legacies they left behind are featured in the pages ahead. Also highlighted in this commemorative section are the valiant first responders. There were hundreds across the county and thousands across our nation who answered the call that day, who ran toward danger rather than away from it. Gratitude to these men and women has been expressed hundreds of times over, and hundreds of more thanks will fall well short of adequate. Sept. 11, 2001, showed us the best and worst of humanity, and it did so simultaneously. This chasm is part of what makes that day and the weeks that followed so ingrained in our nation’s psyche. There was so much evil — and in a split second there was suddenly so much good. The spectrum of the human condition was laid bare from New York City to Frederick to Ohio and everywhere beyond. Many of us have recovered and moved on, while some will never find peace from the horrors of that day. Others still have perished fighting to avenge the attacks. We all grieve in different ways, pay respects with different acts. But this year we remember and we do so together. What lies ahead for our country and those who wish to do it harm can’t be foreseen. But we see clearly the heroes of that day and how our nation came together. That unity is among the feelings we won’t soon forget, and it’s something toward which we should strive again.

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Trevor Baratko News-Post news editor

Publisher Geordie Wilson Editors Paul Milton Trevor Baratko Pete McCarthy Photographer Bill Green

Contributing Writers Jillian Atelsek Jack Hogan Mary Grace Keller Ryan Marshall Sales Support Manager Noelle Hallman Advertising Director Brittney Hamilton

Multimedia Marketing Consultants James Constantine Kathi Smith Talia Valencia Karen Washburn Director of Revenue Connie Hastings

Distributed by The Frederick News-Post and through selected distribution outlets. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY COPYRIGHT. Prices, specials and descriptions are deemed accurate as of the time of publishing. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the publisher. Advertising information has been provided by the advertisers. Opinions expressed in 9/11: Frederick Remembers are those of editors or contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of Ogden Newspapers of Maryland, LLC. All terms and conditions are subject to change. The cover, design, format and layout of this publication are trademarks of Ogden Newspapers of Maryland, LLC and published by The Frederick News-Post. COVER: In a Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, smoke billows from both towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Photo by the Associated Press. On pages 14 and 15, you’ll see a reprint of the Sept. 11, 2001, edition of The News.

Both Soldierfit and Platoon 22 exist in no small part as a direct result of the events of 9-11. Team members from both organizations helped to secure the building after the terrorist attacks at the Pentagon and subsequently took the first team to remove the remains of the fallen. The events of this day have profoundly shaped our worldview. That’s why both organizations will never forget, nor will we allow others to forget, 9-11.

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9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

Frederick County’s fallen Remembering the three men who lost their lives on 9/11 BY JACK HOGAN JHOGAN@NEWSPOST.COM

Ronald Vauk

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hree Frederick County residents were among the nearly 3,000 people who died 20 years ago in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Their names have been memorialized in the city of Frederick and in Mount Airy, and their loved ones carry on their spirits. The victims were known for their willingness to help others, for their love of family and for their close ties to their home in the county.

Vauk

Alan Patrick Linton Jr.

Linton

Alan Patrick Linton Jr. worked for Sandler O’Neill and Partners, L.P., an investment banking company with offices on the 104th floor of the south tower. He lived in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City to be closer to work but would return to Frederick on weekends to be with family, attend church and teach a Sunday school class. He felt New York was the best place to advance his career, his mother said, but he planned to eventually return to Frederick and use his resources to assist others. After a plane struck the tower Linton was working in, the 26-year-old called his mother in Frederick. He was known for helping those around him, so Sharon Linton told her son not to be a hero. That was the last that she or the rest of the family

William Ruth

Ruth 4

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Lt. Cmdr. Ronald James Vauk worked at the Pentagon. The Mount Airy resident was serving his second day in the Naval Command Center when the plane smashed into the building. At the time, Vauk, 37, had a 3-year-old son and his wife, Jennifer was pregnant with their daughter. He was a family man who enjoyed spending time with his son, and who was close with his inlaws. Aside from being a member of the Navy reserve employed at the Pentagon, Vauk worked with submarine technology at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Mount Airy officials rededicated the area formerly known as Patriot Park in 2016 to honor Army Chief Warrant Officer William “Bill” Ruth and Vauk, and leaders in the Mount Airy VFW chapter renamed its post in honor of Ruth.

heard from him. For two days after the attack, Linton’s family made calls for information every half hour, though no definitive answer came. Their son was considered missing even a month after the attacks, and the Lintons continued to hold out hope. Sharon wanted to think amnesia had kept her son from calling. The denial continued even after Linton’s parents received pieces of their son’s bones recovered from the rubble. It took Sharon Linton seven years to accept her son’s death, she said in a 2016 interview with The News-Post. The family has since formed a scholarship in his name for Frederick Community College business students, and an emergency shelter for homeless people within the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs has memorialized his name.

Ruth’s sons died in a car crash in 1999. The pair had been living together for about two years, Claypoole said, and they were looking forward Army Chief Warrant Officer William “Bill” Ruth to enjoying retired life together. She’d retired from didn’t have a selfish bone in his body, Darlene the Federal Prison System and Ruth, 57, was just two Claypoole, his girlfriend at the time of his death, said months shy of hanging up the Army uniform. The in a recent email to The News-Post. night before the attacks, he presided over his first “He was a friend to everyone — that’s what he is meeting as commander of the VFW chapter where known for,” Claypoole said. “Always there and willing he’d met Claypoole. to help any way he could.” Ruth was at the Pentagon when the plane crashed. After serving as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, Ruth was reactivated for Desert Storm — a Persian Gulf War His desk, which displayed pictures of Claypoole, was in the impact zone. She was gardening when she operation in early 1991. heard the news and, after failing to reach him, left a A teacher at the time of his deployment, he message on Ruth’s phone. continued instructing his students from halfway After surviving the initial impact, Ruth and another around the world, sending video tapes and eventually coworker struggled to locate an exit before they returning with clothes from the region to educate his succumbed to their injuries. The Mount Airy resident students about countries oceans away. was listed as missing for days after the attack, and The couple, both divorced, met through the Claypoole held out hope that her boyfriend just hadn’t Mount Airy chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars gotten to a phone. organization, and they became close after one of

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9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

File photo by Adam Fried

Mike Smallwood, a volunteer with Carroll Manor Volunteer Fire Company, looks out over U.S. 15 South / U.S. 340 West Friday afternoon from a ladder truck on Mount Zion Memorial bridge.

A day we’ll never forget Looking back at 9/11 in Frederick County BY NEWS-POST STAFF

S File photo by Dan Gross

From left, Frederick County Division of Fire & Rescue Services personnel, Keith Hubble, Derek Wildasin, Micah Wiles, David Coe, Tim Pannebaker, and James Butts, bow their heads in 2018 during the invocation by Minister Ivy Coleman of The Message Ministry as part of the Sept. 11 tribute at Winchester Hall in Frederick.

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eptember 11, 2001, began with a primary election in the city of Frederick. It ended with a nation mourning a tragedy. Mayor Jim Grimes was running for re-election against Jennifer Dougherty, who would win that year, becoming Frederick’s first female mayor. Grimes previously told the News-Post that he was on his way to the polls when he first heard that a plane hit one of the Twin Towers. He thought it was an accident. But the plane that hit the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. was part of an attack, after hijackers commandeered four planes. Two went into the towers, the second one hitting at 9:03 a.m. Another plane hit the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. A fourth plane was likely headed toward the Washington, D.C. area. Passengers and flight crew were able to prevent the plane from reaching its destination. Instead, it crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Close to 3,000 lives were lost within the span of a few hours on that day, including 343 firefighters and 72 police officers. The attacks marked the single deadliest day for police and fire officials in the history of the nation. Frederick had Fort Detrick and Camp David. Its proximity to Washington, D.C., alone made it so that security in the area needed to be tightened, Grimes told the News-Post 10 years after the attacks. Evacuation plans were made. Airport

security firmed up. Grimes even made plans to secure water stations in case they became vulnerable to an attack, he said. Fort Detrick allowed civilians to leave early, and in the following days, increased security. In the week that followed the Sept. 11 attacks, Grimes and Dougherty decided to take a campaign hiatus while the nation recovered. Across the county, local residents wondered what the attacks meant. Some told a News-Post reporter in the days after they worried about a draft, others called for violence against the terrorists behind the attacks. Local clergy did what they knew best and started leading prayers. Deputies with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office prepared to deploy if needed.

Calls of service For Frederick resident Carol Debow, thanking the men and women staffing local fire stations has remained important. “My heart goes out to all firefighters. They risk their lives for us, to save us, and I just think, they have families too, so I appreciate all that they do for us,” Debow said at a previous year’s 9/11 ceremony in Frederick. Like almost everyone who lived through the tragic attacks, Debow can remember exactly what she was doing when the first tower was struck at the World Trade Center. She was at home in her Frederick apartment when the horrifying news came on TV, she said.


File photo by Dan Gross

Wreaths to honor Ronald Vauk and William Ruth were placed at the Mount Airy Pine Grove Chapel during the Patriot Day Ceremony in 2016. Thomas E. Coe, chief of the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue, said he had just completed an inventory check on an ambulance when a co-worker came running into the apparatus bay to tell us that a large plane had just flown into the World Trade Center. “We all gathered around a TV just as United Flight 175 flew into the South Tower,” he told the News-Post recently. “As the 20th anniversary of approaches, I, like many, are filled with a number of thoughts and emotions. As a member of the fire/rescue service, Sept. 11th is a day of remembrance … We honor the sacrifice of the 343 Firefighters, [72] law enforcement officers and 55 members of the military who gave their life that day trying to save the lives of others. I also think about the over 250 fire-

fighters who have since perished at the hands of 9/11-related illness.” Coe pointed out the day also offered extensive shows of “pride and patriotism,” saying the nation came together like no other period in his lifetime. “From coast to coast, Americans did everything possible to ensure that our communities were taken care of,” Coe said. “We worried about our neighbors and focused on ensuring the safety of our homeland.” The persistent medical complications faced by public safety personnel who responded to the attack sites in New York and Washington was just one reason to continue holding remembrance ceremonies for 9/11, Chip Jewell, former chief of the county’s volunteer fire and rescue services, said in an past News-Post story.

“We need to remember what happened, how it happened, how many individuals died that day. ... We also need to remember what happened so we don’t become complacent,” Jewell said. “Our country is constantly changing and there’s always a threat, external as well as internal.” Jewell remembers hearing about the attacks over the radio on his way from Frederick to Mount Airy while working for an insurance company. “Shortly thereafter, once I understood what was happening, I was up at the fire house to stand by just like hundreds of other volunteers and sworn personnel in Frederick County,” he said. “Everybody pitched in to make sure we were protected.” Only a single company from the county was ultimately deployed to an attack site

— a ladder truck from the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Rescue Company helped battle the fires on the southwest side of the Pentagon in Washington — but the county was not left unscathed by the devastation. Three county residents were killed in the attacks: 26-year-old Alan Patrick Linton Jr. was working on the 104th floor of the South World Trade Center building in Manhattan, while both William R. Ruth, 57, and Ronald J. Vauk, 37, were working in the Pentagon. Citizens of Frederick County and the nation will pay respects and attend solemn tributes on this 20th anniversary of 9/11, and Debow is one of them. She said she still keeps an electric candle glowing in her apartment at all times, so she never has to worry about it going out.

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9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

Service and sacrifice

File photo by Skip Lawrence

The U.S. flag flies in the sunlight following the unveiling of the 9/11 National Memorial at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg in 2007. The 40-foot-tall bronze monument, named “To Lift a Nation,” was created by sculptor Stan Watts to honor firefighters who responded on 9/11, according to firehero.org. Each of the three firefighter’s statues weigh more than 5,000 pounds and were formed from approximately 160 bronze sections weighing between 60-80 pounds each. 8

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9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

‘The little engine that could’ Woodsboro fire chief reflects on station’s 9/11 Pentagon response ‘You get reborn again, because you know you did good, you’ve helped people. You know you have a purpose.’

gine bay doors, the Pentagon’s entrance stood 10 feet tall, and they needed apparatus small enough to get inside. Someone in D.C., Fyock doesn’t know who, remembered that Woodsboro had an older, smaller truck that just might fit. Fyock directed the local 911 center to dispatch the call like they would for any other fire. The first four qualified firefighters to arrive went with Fyock, and they headed for the Pentagon. The truck only held two people and wouldn’t go faster than 55 mph, according to Fyock. The other three firefighters followed in a duty vehicle. Fyock doesn’t remember much about the journey, but he does recall how eerily empty the roads were. He only saw one other vehicle. When the Woodsboro crew arrived, they had to hand over their cell phones before entering the Pentagon. Their tar-

get was the inner courtyard, nestled within the rings of the building. “We went inside and they told us that because of the jet fuel in the building, baicky Fyock had just finsically they had decided to not fight fire ished his supervisor shift that night but just to hold it where it is,” at the Frederick County Fyock recalled. 911 center when he got Authors Patrick Creed and Rick Newa phone call the night of man detail the effort in their book, “FireSept. 11, 2001. fight: Inside the Battle to Save the PentaThe Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Comgon on 9/11.” pany chief answered the call. A dispatchWorking alongside other fire crews, er told him the Pentagon needed WoodsTruck 16 aimed its 65-foot ladder and boro’s 1950s era Mack Ladder Truck 16 hose at the roof, the authors wrote. The to help contain the fire that started after truck lacked remote control to operAmerican Airlines Flight 77 crashed into ate the hose, so firefighters rigged a pulthe building. ley system with ropes to move the hose “I thought somebody was messing around. Once it was stable, firefighters in with me,” Fyock said. pairs took turns directing the water. But the need was real, and it was urFyock, chief then and still chief now, gent. supervised the group. They were on scene Like Woodsboro fire station’s enfor about 13 hours, he told the News-Post. A three-star general loaned Fyock his cell phone so he could check in with command. When Fyock found time for breaks, he took in the scenes around him. Exhausted firefighters slept on empty body bags, and inside the Pentagon, knee deep in water, Fyock came upon a hole where the cockpit came crashing through. Body parts were scattered around it. He later realized they must have belonged to the terrorists who hijacked the plane. Eventually, fresh fire crews started to arrive at the Pentagon, along with food trucks. In the midst of the new flurry of activity, Fyock noticed a man in a suit, just standing there staring at the wreckage. Fyock asked if the man needed anything. “I was at the dentist,” the man told him. “But my fellow workers weren’t.” Fyock put his arm around the stranger, and they sat on a bench. “I just held him for a while,” Fyock said. The man left eventually, but Fyock never got his name. Twenty years later, Fyock feels like it was yesterday. “The visions I saw will never leave me,” Fyock said. “In my lifetime, I’ve seen a lot of tragedy.” But he’s also seen a lot of good. File photo by Sam Yu “I remember the morning of the 12th Micky Fyock was deputy chief of the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire/Rescue Company on Sept. 11, 2001, and got the call to take a crew we had our ladder up, and it was flowing and the company’s old ladder truck to help fight fires at the Pentagon because their truck was the only one in the area that could water, and we put an American flag on the end of the ladder,” Fyock said. get into the inner courtyard. Fyock spoke recently about the experience. BY MARY GRACE KELLER MKELLER@NEWSPOST.COM

M

— Micky Fyock

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Staff photo by Bill Green

Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Company’s 1955 Mack Ladder Truck 16 was used at the Pentagon to contain the fire that started after American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building. Collector and longtime firefighter Kyd Dieterich, who was once fire chief in Hagerstown, owns the truck and often displays it at parades and other events in the area. One day he hopes the truck may return to Frederick County. As the sun beamed down on the water and the flag waved, a rainbow appeared. “I said, we’re gonna be all right,” Fyock said. Relieved of duty, Fyock and his crew returned to Woodsboro. After two decades, Fyock is the only member of the 9/11 crew who is still active with the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Company. Truck 16 eventually became too old to meet modern needs and was sold to collector and longtime firefighter Kyd Dieterich, who was once fire chief in Hagerstown. Though he retired from career

firefighting, he still volunteers on the Board of Directors at the Funkstown station in Washington County. When Dieterich worked in fire truck sales, he knew Woodsboro planned to sell Truck 16 not long after 9/11. After Woodsboro didn’t get any enticing offers, Dieterich made a bid. The company accepted it, and Dieterich moved the truck to storage in Hagerstown. He’s kept it in good condition and rolls it out every now and then for special occasions such as parades. “It’s part of our nation’s history. It’s something that I think our citizens should

9-11 Never Forget

be proud of,” Dieterich said in an interview. He believes Truck 16 should stay in the area and, ideally, be on display. Clarence “Chip” Jewell, president of the Frederick County Fire & Rescue Museum in Emmitsburg, thinks he can help. Jewell, a retired director of volunteer services at Frederick County and currently assistant chief and president at Libertytown, would love to see the truck displayed at the museum. It’s just an idea in its infancy at this point, but it’s a hope he has for the future. The museum would need to be expanded to fit the truck.

“It really is an iconic piece of fire apparatus,” Jewell said, adding it has become known as “the little truck that could.” When the 9/11 anniversary comes around, Fyock tends to stay at home. At 69 years old, he has 56 years of volunteer fire service under his belt. There have been times in those years he questioned whether he’s had enough. Then he gets another call. “You get reborn again, because you know you did good, you’ve helped people,” Fyock said. “You know you have a purpose.”

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9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

Answering the call Jefferson man worked at Pentagon for days in the aftermath of 9/11

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File photo by Sam Yu

From a vantage point on a hill off Columbia Pike in Arlington you can see the damaged side of the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol, which may have been another target, in the background. 12

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BY RYAN MARSHALL RMARSHALL@NEWSPOST.COM

t took about 90 minutes for Jon P. Bruley to get inside the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. It would be about a week until he left. Bruley, a Jefferson resident, was working as a firefighter in Virginia’s Fairfax County. His medic unit had just returned to its station after taking a patient to the hospital, and Bruley went into the facility’s kitchen. The TV was tuned to the news. Bruley could see a large hole and lots of fire coming out of the north tower of the World Trade Center. The fireman had begun his career in the New York suburbs and was familiar with the World Trade Center complex. “Oh, they’ve got their work cut out for them,” he recalled in a 2016 interview with The News-Post. Then he and his coworkers watched as a second plane hit the south tower. About half an hour after the plane hit the south tower, Bruley heard someone say that a plane had hit the nearby Pentagon, and the station’s personnel were dispatched to the scene. They gathered with a group of first responders that had assembled in a nearby parking lot, monitoring the radio traffic and listening to news reports. Before they could get inside, Bruley’s team was told that their assignment had changed from fighting the fire to search and rescue. They returned to the station to get some equipment, such as hydraulic tools and saws, they needed. As they made their way back down Interstate 395 toward the Pentagon, they could see the column of smoke rising ahead of them. Bruley recalled thinking simply, “All right, time to go to work.” Bruley, who retired from Fairfax County after nearly 28 years on Sept. 11, 2016, can remember plenty of highlights of his career. Fifteen minutes into his first shift as a paramedic for the county, he responded to the January 1993 shooting at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, that killed two employees and wounded three more. He went to New York after Hurricane Sandy, and to Turkey and Iran to help after earthquakes.


File photo by Graham Cullen

Jon Bruley, who lives in Jefferson, was a firefighter working in Fairfax, Virginia, on Sept. 11, 2001, and was dispatched to the Pentagon. On the table in front of him in this 2016 photo is his helmet from that day and a piece of stone from the exterior of the building, which was given to first responders. He has delivered more than 40 babies and said he’s lost track of how many people he has seen die. But ending his career on Sept. 11 seemed appropriate, he said, considering his memories of that day 20 years ago. “It doesn’t seem like it’s been 20 years,” he recently told the News-Post. “I can still remember all the details.” His team got inside the Pentagon about 90 minutes after the plane hit and made their way toward the center of the sprawling building.

The first floor had mostly been evacuated, but as they found a stairwell and moved to the second floor, they began to find the bodies of victims. They tried to identify as many as they could. Some of the victims had name tags or other ways to identify them, but others weren’t able to be immediately identified. They found the remains of a soldier on the first floor whose body had been incinerated by the strength of the fire, his red beret virtually untouched beside him. “To this day, that’s one thing I cannot

explain,” Bruley said in 2016. They would work steadily for about seven days digging through the rubble and reinforcing parts of the building where the support beams had been destroyed by the plane, and they didn’t get their first break until some time on Sept. 12. But no one minded. “It felt good and important to be there doing what we were doing.” he said. The smell of jet fuel was heavy in the air, and Bruley’s team found landing gear, seats and other pieces of American Air-

lines Flight 77 where it had gashed its way into the building. As Bruley prepared to end his fire career, the days and weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, stayed with him. At his home, he displayed a white limestone brick from the Pentagon and the helmet he wore to the Pentagon that day. He praised the dedication of the people in the rescue effort and the sense of purpose they worked with. “We didn’t need downtime. We didn’t want downtime,” he said. “We just wanted to do what we had to do.”

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https://newspaperarchive.com/news-sep-11-2001-p-1/

News, September 11, 2001,Pg. 1, Frederick, Maryland, US


9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

File photo by Bill Green

An emotional crowd of a couple thousand filled the area of the bandshell in Baker Park on Sept. 14, 2001, during a candlelight vigil and service.

‘Breathtaking’ Thousands descend on Baker Park to honor 9/11 victims BY SUSAN C. NICOL FROM THE NEWS-POST ARCHIVES

B

aker Park was a sea of red, white and blue Friday night as thousands turned out to remember the victims killed in terrorist attacks on Tuesday. There were little girls holding hands, young couples with babies, single people, Boy Scouts, motorcyclists in leather, older people with canes and a few in wheelchairs. They had one thing in common: All were proud, flag-waving Americans, refusing to let the terrorists get the last word. People carrying candles and flags started gathering near the bandshell an hour before the official start of the program. Mayor Jim Grimes said it was “breathtaking” to look out at the thousands of flickering candles. “September 11 is a day that this generation will remember forever,” said as he ad-

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dressed the crowd, estimated at between 2,500 and 3,000 people. Mr. Grimes said many people started their days on Tuesday as they any other. But that soon changed. “The senseless act is beyond comprehension,” he said. The mayor said his prayers go out to the people who lost their lives in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon as well as to their family and friends. Mr. Grimes said Frederick should also remember the fire and rescue crews and police who are still on duty or who were killed while trying to help others. He urged the crowd to reach out to one another and demonstrate kindness. The crowd was encouraged to keep Pat and Sharon Linton, of Frederick, in their prayers. Their son, Alan P. Linton, 26, was working in the World Trade Center when the first tower was hit by an airliner. Moments before the terrorists’ strike, he had called home to tell his family he was OK.

September 11, 2021 | 9/11: FREDERICK REMEMBERS

The second tower, where he was working, was then hit. He has not been heard from since. Sherry Watkins said she sat down after hearing about the attack on America, and put her words to music. “...All the noise around me,” she sang to the crowd. “But silent in my head. Can’t believe the horror. The questions and the dread. How can a people do this and where will it all end. ‘We’re a brotherhood, a nation. We are family. We are friends...” The crowd rose to its feet, held their candles high in the air and waving flags, joined in the refrain: “...Stand up America and shout out We are free. We are free!” Frederick County Commissioner Rick Weldon said the lives of thousands were turned upside down Tuesday, and the skyline of one of the world’s most famous cities has been changed forever. “The terrorists believed that by killing thousands and injuring tens of thousands, they could shatter the American spirit ...

We do not place value on tall buildings ... we care about each other...” Mr. Weldon said. While he is confident that the U.S. government will take the appropriate action against those responsible, he urged the crowd to pray for the people whose lives were ended so suddenly, and comfort their families. “Strive to never let your parting words to a loved one be angry words and never, never assume that someone you care about must know how you feel about them. Take the time to express how you feel,” he said. “...Let us resolve tonight that Frederick will be a place where love conquers hatred, where understanding overcomes a narrow mind, and where all of us, regardless of backgrounds, can come together as a community of one voice to celebrate the power of the human spirit.” Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the Sept. 15, 2001 editions of The News and Frederick News-Post.


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9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

Teaching about the tragedy FCPS educators reflect on teaching 9/11 to a generation that wasn’t alive for it RIGHT: Darren Hornbeck teaches a class on 9/11 at Linganore High School in 2016. File photo by Dan Gross

BELOW: Linganore High School students in 2019 follow along with a lesson on how the attacks of 9/11 unfolded. File photo by Graham Cullen

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September 11, 2021 | 9/11: FREDERICK REMEMBERS

BY JILLIAN ATELSEK JATELSEK@NEWSPOST.COM

W

henever Aldo Manino talks to his Frederick High School students about Sept. 11, 2001, he describes the same three memories. First is the weather. As a first-year teacher in Brooklyn, New York, Manino was struck by it. Not too hot or too cold, brilliantly sunny — “It was the most beautiful September day I’ve ever had,” he said. Next is the sirens. And last is the silence — the “eerie” quiet that settled over the city that evening, its residents grieving, shocked, huddling in their homes. Twenty years later, Manino still jumps when he hears the rumble of a low-flying jet. Ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Manino and other Frederick County Public Schools social studies teachers shared some of the ways they approach the subject in classrooms — doing what they can to make an impression on students who weren’t alive when the towers fell. “If we don’t have kids talking about it, the younger the kids are and the further we get away, people do forget,” said Leslie Williamson, who teaches at New Market Middle School. Personal stories — even about seemingly small things like the weather, in Manino’s case — work their way into many teachers’ classrooms. It helps cement the reality in students’ minds, they said. Williamson, for one, was a student teacher at Ballenger Creek Elementary School back in the fall of 2001. She remembers teachers popping their heads out of their respective classrooms, whispering to each other. She remembers the long line of cars as parents rushed to pick up their bewildered children. She took a half day that day. When she got home, an exterminator was waiting for her. But instead of spraying for bugs as they’d arranged, Williamson said, the pair of them just stood, transfixed, in front of her TV. Now, Williamson encourages her students to gather stories like that from anyone they can: parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles. Each year, either on Sept. 11 or a few days before, she instructs her 12-year-olds


File photo by Dan Gross

Darren Hornbeck holds up a model of the Twin Towers in New York City during his class on 9/11 at Linganore High School in 2016. to talk to someone at home about their memories from that day. Then, they share what they learned with the class. The kids are constantly skeptical that they know anyone who was really affected by the event, she said — but every year, they’re proven wrong. “By having them make those connections,” Williamson said, “it makes history more real.” Teachers across the county have a good deal of freedom in how — and if — they choose to approach 9/11, said Col-

leen Bernard, FCPS’ secondary social studies curriculum specialist. “We give them the autonomy to address the topic within the context of their curriculum,” Bernard said. But no matter what that context is, she said she encourages instructors to drive home the connection between the attacks and the world the students grew up in — focusing on the ways 9/11 changed security, foreign policy, surveillance and more. “It’s important that we understand where it is that we came from in order to

understand where we are,” she said. “And that, to me, would be the crux of any time you’re teaching about history.” For five years, Darren Hornbeck has taught an entire course on 9/11 at Linganore High School. He said about 600 students have taken it since it was established the year of the 15th anniversary. The course is only open to juniors and seniors, since the content is often graphic. This year, he’s reworked the syllabus to frame everything around the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, he said.

“We started to use that a little bit as a springboard to go back in time and look at the events that began this 20-year war,” he said. “It’s a little bit more of a connection to what the students are seeing in the news.” Hornbeck wants to give students the vocabulary to understand and discuss what’s happening around them, he said — and to connect with the older people in their lives who experienced the trauma of 9/11 and the ensuing war firsthand. Since school began on Aug. 18, he’s worked on building a knowledge base for his students on the origin and motivations of groups like Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS. Next, he’ll make sure they understand, in detail, what happened that day — and how the country changed in the months and years after. “After you get that down, you can begin to make, I think, some judgments about the policies that are created,” Hornbeck said. “Because you kind of have to have a basic framework of understanding of who the characters are, why people are behaving the way they are, before you go on to begin to think at that level.” Each teacher takes a slightly different approach, aiming to leave their students with varied takeaways. Manino, who witnessed rampant Islamophobia in New York after the attacks, makes sure to spend time dismantling misconceptions about Muslim people. He tells his class about the tenets of Islam that govern conduct in war, under which the 9/11 attacks would have been prohibited. Williamson said she gives specific attention to patriotism, trying to instill in her students a pride for their country and the freedoms they’re afforded. But most of all, Hornbeck said, it’s about making children aware. “Those of us that were probably in our 20s or older, we carry a strong emotional connection to it. When they look at it, because they weren’t watching TV when the planes hit and the towers fell, they don’t bring that,” Hornbeck said. “[I] help the students understand why this was such a seminal event in American history.”

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9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

Through the years Frederick County remembers, reflects on 9/11

File photo by Bill Green

Members of the Maryland Sons of the American Revolution state color guard lead the procession of colors at the start of the town of Thurmont’s first community tribute to 9/11 that was held in Memorial Park in 2020. File photo by Bill Green

ABOVE: In this 2017 photo, Tom Owens, then chief of Frederick County’s Division of Fire and Rescue Services, fist bumps each member of Recruit Class 22 as they enter the five-story burn tower to begin their 22 trips up and down the stairs of the tower in remembrance of the firefighters that perished inside the twin towers attempting to rescue others.

File photo by Graham Cullen File photo by Bill Green

In this 2020 photo, members of the Thurmont Scouts listen as a speaker describes remembrances of the events of the September 11, 2001, attacks against the country during the town’s first Community Tribute to 9/11. 20

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September 11, 2021 | 9/11: FREDERICK REMEMBERS

A Frederick Police Department officer presents the U.S. flag during a 9/11 remembrance ceremony outside City Hall in Frederick.


Hundreds of people gathered at the bandshell in Baker Park for Frederick’s “Remember 911” program in 2002. On the program were readings, music and a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. File photo by Sam Yu

File photo by Dan Gross

From left, Young Marines Liaison Joe Clemente; Boy Scout Alex Correll; and Harry Wolfe, of the Marine Corps League, raise the Mount Airy Chapel flag to half-staff at the 2016 Patriot Day ceremony at Pine Grove Chapel.

File photo by Sam Yu

In 2006, more than 870 Ballenger Creek Middle School students and staff, along with guest veterans, joined together to form a Ribbon of Remembrance tribute for all those fellow Americans who lost their lives on 9/11.

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9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

More security, less privacy

Associated Press file photo

A United Express jet taxis down a runway as a Southwest Airlines plane takes off in the background at Denver International Airport, Tuesday, Aug. 24 in Denver.

Ask anyone old enough to remember travel before Sept. 11, 2001, and you’re likely to get a gauzy recollection of what flying was like.

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BY DAVID KOENIG AP AIRLINES WRITER

A

sk anyone old enough to remember travel before Sept. 11, 2001, and you’re likely to get a gauzy recollection of what flying was like. There was security screening, but it wasn’t anywhere near as intrusive. There were no long checkpoint lines. Passengers and their families could walk right to the gate together, postponing goodbye hugs until the last possible moment. Overall, an airport experience meant far less stress. That all ended when four hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. The worst terror attack on American soil led to increased and sometimes tension-filled security measures in airports across the world, aimed at preventing a repeat of that awful day. The cataclysm has also contributed to other changes large and small that have reshaped the airline industry — and, for consumers, made air travel more stressful than ever. Two months after the attacks, President George W. Bush signed legislation creating the Transportation Security Administration, a force of federal airport

September 11, 2021 | 9/11: FREDERICK REMEMBERS

screeners that replaced the private companies that airlines were hiring to handle security. The law required that all checked bags be screened, cockpit doors be reinforced, and more federal air marshals be put on flights. There has not been another 9/11. Nothing even close. But after that day, flying changed forever. Here’s how it unfolded. Security measures evolved with new threats, and so travelers were asked to take off belts and remove some items from bags for scanning. Things that clearly could be wielded as weapons, like the box-cutters used by the 9/11 hijackers, were banned. After “shoe bomber” Richard Reid’s attempt to take down a flight from Paris to Miami in late 2001, footwear started coming off at security checkpoints. Each new requirement seemed to make checkpoint lines longer, forcing passengers to arrive at the airport earlier if they wanted to make their flights. To many travelers, other rules were more mystifying, such as limits on liquids because the wrong ones could possibly be used to concoct a bomb. “It’s a much bigger hassle than it was before 9/11 — much bigger — but we have gotten used to it,” Ronald Briggs said as he and his wife, Jeanne, waited at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for a flight to London last month. The north Texas retirees, who traveled frequently

before the pandemic, said they are more worried about COVID-19 than terrorism. “The point about taking shoes off because of one incident on a plane seems somewhat on the extreme side,” Ronald Briggs said, “but the PreCheck works pretty smoothly, and I’ve learned to use a plastic belt so I don’t have to take it off.” The long lines created by post-attack measures gave rise to the PreCheck and Global Entry “trusted-traveler programs” in which people who pay a fee and provide certain information about themselves pass through checkpoints without removing shoes and jackets or taking laptops out of their bag. But that convenience has come at a cost: privacy. On its application and in brief interviews, PreCheck asks people about basic information like work history and where they have lived, and they give a fingerprint and agree to a criminal-records check. Privacy advocates are particularly concerned about ideas that TSA has floated to also examine social media postings (the agency’s top official says that has been dropped), press reports about people, location data and information from data brokers including how applicants spend their money. “It’s far from clear that that has any relationship to aviation security,” says Jay Stanley, a privacy expert at the American Civil Liberties Union.


More than 10 million people have enrolled in PreCheck. TSA wants to raise that to 25 million. The goal is to let TSA officers spend more time on passengers considered to be a bigger risk. As the country marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks, the TSA’s work to expand PreCheck is unfolding in a way privacy advocates worry could put people’s information at more risk. At the direction of Congress, the TSA will expand the use of private vendors to gather information from PreCheck applicants. It currently uses a company called Idemia, and plans by the end of the year to add two more — Telos Identity Management Solutions and Clear Secure Inc. Clear, which recently went public, plans to use PreCheck enrollment to boost membership in its own identity-verification product by bundling the two offerings. That will make Clear’s own product more valuable to its customers, which include sports stadiums and concert promoters. “They are really trying to increase their market share by collecting quite a lot of very sensitive data on as many people as they can get their hands on. That strikes a lot of alarm bells for me,” says India McKinney, director of federal affairs for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for digital rights. TSA Administrator David Pekoske, though, sees Clear’s strategy as helping TSA. Says Pekoske: “We have allowed the vendors to bundle their offerings together with the idea that would be an incentive for people to sign up for the trusted-traveler programs.” The TSA is testing the use of kiosks equipped with facial-recognition technology to check photo IDs and boarding passes rather than having an officer do it. Critics say facial-recognition technology makes errors, especially on people of color. TSA officials told privacy advocates earlier this year that those kiosks will also pull photos taken when the traveler applied for PreCheck, McKinney says. That concerns her because it would mean connecting the kiosks to the internet — TSA says that much is true — and potentially exposing the information to hackers. “They are totally focusing on the convenience factor,” McKinney says, “and they are not focusing on the privacy and security factors.” Despite the trauma that led to its creation, and the intense desire to avoid an-

Courtesy photo

A traveler interacts with a Transportation Security Administration agent at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. other 9/11, the TSA itself has frequently been the subject of questions about its methods, ideas and effectiveness. Flight attendants and air marshals were outraged when the agency proposed in 2013 to let passengers carry folding pocket knives and other long-banned items on planes again. The agency dropped the idea. And after another outcry, the TSA removed full-body scanners that produced

realistic-looking images that some travelers compared to virtual strip searches. They were replaced by other machines that caused fewer privacy and health objections. Pat-downs of travelers are a constant complaint. In 2015, a published report said TSA officers failed 95 percent of the time to detect weapons or explosive material carried by undercover inspectors. Members of Con-

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gress who received a classified briefing raised their concerns to Pekoske, with one lawmaker saying that TSA “is broken badly.” Critics, including former TSA officers, have derided the agency as “security theater” that gives a false impression of safe-

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9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

Associated Press

Travelers wear face coverings in the queue for the north security checkpoint in the main terminal of Denver International Airport Tuesday, Aug. 24 in Denver. TRAVEL, continued from 23 guarding the traveling public. Pekoske dismisses that notion by pointing to the huge number of guns seized at airport checkpoints — more than 3,200 last year, 83 percent of them loaded — instead of making it onto planes. Pekoske also ticked off other TSA tasks, including vetting passengers, screening checked bags with 3-D technology, inspecting cargo and putting federal air marshals on flights. “There is an awful lot there that people don’t see,” Pekoske says. “Rest assured: This is not security theater. It’s real security.” Many independent experts agree with Pekoske’s assessment, though they usually see areas where the TSA must improve. “TSA is an effective deterrent against most attacks,” says Jeffrey Price, who teaches aviation security at Metropolitan State University of Denver and has co-authored books on the subject. “If it’s security theater, like some critics say, it’s pretty good security theater because since 9/11 we haven’t had a successful attack against aviation.” This summer, an average of nearly 2 mil-

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lion people per day have flowed through TSA checkpoints. On weekends and holidays they can be teeming with stressed-out travelers. During the middle of the week, even at big airports like DFW, they are less crowded; they hum rather than roar. Most travelers accept any inconvenience as the price of security in an uncertain world. Travel “is getting harder and harder, and I don’t think it’s just my age,” said Paula Gathings, who taught school in Arkansas for many years and was waiting for a flight to Qatar and then another to Kenya, where she will spend the next several months teaching. She blames the difficulty of travel on the pandemic, not the security apparatus. “They are there for my security. They aren’t there to hassle me,” Gathings said of TSA screeners and airport police. “Every time somebody asks me to do something, I can see the reason for it. Maybe it’s the schoolteacher in me.” In 2015, a Russian airliner crashed shortly after taking off from Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. American and British officials suspected it was brought down by a bomb. It was, however, the exception rather than the rule. Even outside the United States, terror attacks on aviation since Sept. 11, 2001 have been rare. Is that be-

September 11, 2021 | 9/11: FREDERICK REMEMBERS

This summer, an average of nearly 2 million people per day have flowed through TSA checkpoints. cause of effective security? Proving a negative, or even attributing it directly to a certain flavor of prevention, is always a dicey exercise. And then there are the inside jobs. In 2016, a bomb ripped a hole in a Daallo Airlines plane shortly after takeoff, killing the bomber but 80 other passengers and crew survived. Somali authorities released video from Mogadishu’s airport that they said showed the man being handed a laptop containing the bomb. In 2018, a Delta Air Lines baggage handler in Atlanta was convicted of using his security pass to smuggle more than 100 guns on flights to New York.

The following year, an American Airlines mechanic with Islamic State videos on his phone pleaded guilty to sabotaging a plane full of passengers by crippling a system that measures speed and altitude. Pilots aborted the flight during takeoff in Miami. Those incidents highlight a threat that TSA needs to worry about — people who work for airlines or airports and have security clearance that lets them avoid regular screening. Pekoske says TSA is improving its oversight of the insider threat. “All those folks that have a (security) badge, you’re right, many do have unescorted access throughout an airport, but they also go through a very rigorous vetting process before they are even hired,” Pekoske says. Those workers are typically reviewed every few years, but he says TSA is rolling out a system that will trigger immediate alerts based on law enforcement information. With all the different ways that deadly chaos could happen on airplanes after 9/11, the fact remains: Most of the time, it hasn’t. The act of getting on a metal machine and rising into the air to travel quickly across states and countries and oceans remains a central part of the 21st-century human experience, arduous though it may be.


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9/11 FREDERICK REMEMBERS

‘Our nation saw evil’ President Bush’s address to the nation on Sept. 11, 2001

G

ood evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge — huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil — the very worst of human nature — and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could. Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our govern-

Photo by Eric Draper/Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

Pledging support for New York, President George W. Bush talks with Gov. George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. ment continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well. The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these

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September 11, 2021 | 9/11: FREDERICK REMEMBERS

acts and those who harbor them. I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been

threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me. This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. Thank you. Good night. And God bless America.

As we honor the memories of the lives lost that day, we must also remember the thousands of people who are still suffering… our thoughts are with you all.


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