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Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich’s Statement on the 20th Anniversary of Sept. 11

For Immediate Release: Saturday 11 September

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich issued the following statement on the 20th anniversary of the Sept.11 attacks on America:

Sept. 11, 2001, is a day that is forever etched in our memory. Most of us vividly remember exactly where we were and how we learned that our nation was under attack right here in our homeland. The events on that day were horrifying and we have never forgotten what happened two decades ago.

On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, we focus on the almost 3,000 victims—including 11 Montgomery County residents—who died that day. They innocently left their homes for work on a beautiful Tuesday morning, not knowing that they would never return to their loved ones. We also lost more than 1,400 9/11 rescue workers who have since died from cancer as result of the toxins they encountered during the aftermath of these attacks. We remember these individuals as more than just names on our memorials.  We owe it to all of them to ponder what we need to do as society to avoid a tragedy of this scale from happening again—not just in this nation, but anywhere in the world.  

On this 20th anniversary, we remember the heroic acts of that day including the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service rushing to provide assistance on the roof of Pentagon and the Montgomery County Police Department assisting with security, traffic and controlling panic. Our fire and police departments joined their peers from around the nation as well as our military by demonstrating their readiness and heroism to come to our aid. We thank them and their families for their service on this day and every day since.

Sept. 11, 2001, is not just a one-day event that happened and our country just moved on. When we think back to the emotions we experienced that day—it felt like it could be just beginning of constant destruction to our homeland. One reason for the shock of that day was that—despite the many wars and conflicts of the past century on all the continents in which soldiers and civilians had been victims, America had not known conflict on home territory—except for Pearl Harbor: America had been spared that since the Civil War.  America had no experience with the trauma that comes from war in the homeland—this time, a war had come home in a way that it really never had before. Fortunately, it was not the beginning of a longer conflict on our homeland,  and we are  thankful for that.

As we recall that day and its impact, we must remain vigilant and recommit ourselves to peace and understanding throughout our world.  Dr. Martin Luther King once said: ‘Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this world-wide neighborhood into a world-wide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.’

It is my hope that the memory of Sept. 11 inspires us to work toward Dr. King’s exhortation.

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Release ID: 21-024