September 12, 2013 11:02 am ET
“We Will Never Forget”
Source: Heritage Park 9/11 Remembrance
“Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?” – Country Singer Alan Jackson
On Patriot Day 2013, several hundred people turned out at Heritage Park to attend a solemn event remembering those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. One of the highlights of the ceremony was an I-beam from the World Trade Center that was turned over to Dundalk Calvary Baptist Church for display and safe keeping.
Despite the heat and humidity, those in attendance at Heritage Park were in full dress mode as they gathered for the solemn event. The theme of the day was, “We Will Never Forget.”
Don Kellner, the event chairman, opened the ceremony with a welcome before turning the duties over to the Master of Ceremonies, Optimist Board Member Bob Crandell. There were several heartfelt speeches from various Optimist Club members that all revolved around the same theme—the importance of carrying on this tradition. Everyone reinforced the need to remember the victims of those tragic events 12 years ago—events that comprise a defining moment in our nation’s history.
Author and Dundalk Historian Bob Staab gave a descriptive account of several of 9/11 survivors, describing their continuing struggles to maintain normal lives.
Music filled the air as Megan McKinney provided a rousing version of the National Anthem, and the Calvary Baptist Church Choir provided other moving songs including a performance by Maluilyn and Calvin Statham for the attendees.
Sadly, no elected officials from either the state or the county were able to make an appearance, though they were represented at the event. Bryan Sheppard attended on behalf of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, while Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger was represented by his aide, Mike Baker.
Additionally, there were remarks from political hopefuls in attendance. They included Rose Long—standing in for her husband, Bob Long—as well as John Salling and Todd Crandall.
Other distinguished guests included Joe Falbo of the Heritage Committee, Citizen of the Year Joe Cristy and his wife Dotty, and Heritage Fair member Tom Toporovich. It is always good to see people at these events that have done so much over the years for the Dundalk community.
As mentioned earlier, the main highlight of the evening was the presentation of the I-beam from the World Trade Center. The presentation featured a soulful and heart-rending performance by Calvin and Malvilyn Statham. The Rev. Cameron Giovanelli gracefully accepted the honor of displaying and preserving the piece of the Twin Towers, and what better place for this piece of history to rest than a house of prayer.
One of the endearing scenes featured the founder of Angels Supporting Your Troops, Irene Spatafore who set up a small table and had children color pictures to send overseas to members of our armed services. “This is a great morale booster for our troops,” Mrs. Spatafore said.
The Heritage Park 9/11 event was a moving experience, to say the least. It once again allowed us to celebrate our nation’s triumph over tragedy.