County of Runnels, 9/11 celebration



RUNNELS COUNTY – On Saturday September 11 at 10 a.m., Runnels County will be hosting a September 11 commemorative event.

County Judge Julia Miller spoke of the event: “We don’t want 9/11 to happen and not be recognized, so we are putting in place a program to honor those who lost their lives and those who lost their lives. heroic efforts of firefighters, police, hospital staff, etc. “

Retired County Judge Barry Hilliard

Miller says the idea started with his predecessor, retired County Judge Barry Hilliard, “I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do something like this. Recently our former judge County, Barry Hilliard, mentioned to me that he spoke with Dr. J. Lynn Lawhon months ago about his participation as a speaker at a September 11, 2001 event. Justice Hilliard stated that Dr Lawhon had expressed interest in speaking at the ceremony if we were to have one. I contacted Dr Lawhon and he told me he was available and would be honored to be our speaker. That got the ball rolling. I’ve spoken to our county commissioners and other county officials and everyone is very supportive of the idea. “

Miller says she is lining up an additional speaker for the event, “A man named Todd Sanford has been raised as a possibility for an additional speaker. Mr. Sanford is a retired Assistant Fire Chief from San Angelo and is now a public speaker. He was not present during the 9/11 attacks, but visited New York shortly thereafter and was deeply moved by his experience. He also agreed to speak at the ceremony, which only added to the momentum.

Miller shared some of his personal feelings about 9/11: “Like many others, I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news of the terrorist attacks. One of my best friends was living in New York at the time and as scared as I was for her, I couldn’t even imagine the terror they were going through. It was something that I will never forget.

More than just a memory

According to Miller, the reason for the ceremony is more than just a memory of 9/11: “Our younger generation, even if they were too young to remember or not yet born, should be aware of what that day was and what it was like. its impact. all of us. I would like them to understand how extraordinary these ordinary people were in the face of utter chaos and devastation. There were heroes from all walks of life ranging from first responders to ordinary people. And not just in New York City, but those incredibly brave people on the American Airline flight to Pennsylvania and those to the Pentagon. All of these people as well as those who lost their lives should be honored and it is our responsibility to do so. “

War on terror

The United States invaded Iraq 18 months after the attacks.

On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress and announced his new “war on terror”. This announcement was accompanied by the doctrine of “preventive” military action, later called the Bush Doctrine. Allegations of a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida have been made by some US government officials who claimed that a top-secret relationship existed between Saddam and the radical Islamist militant organization al-Qaida from 1992 to 2003, including through a series of meetings apparently involving the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS).

William Justin Byler of Ballinger died on October 31, 2005 in Iraq while serving in the 101st Airborne Division.

Miller spoke of the sacrifices of the military and how many come from rural areas: “There will never be enough recognition for these young men and women and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make to serve this country. I recently read that about 44% of military recruits are from rural areas. Thus, the contribution of rural communities is important and should not be overlooked. I know there were some in our region who made the decision to enlist in the military on September 11, 2001 or shortly thereafter. I don’t know when Justin Byler enlisted, but he was one of the many brave people who made the ultimate sacrifice. They all deserve to be honored and remembered. “

Miller said planning for the ceremony was still ongoing: “It’s really starting to get done. way they can. “

Positive response to plans

According to Miller, the response has been positive from those she has spoken to about the event, “The response has been incredible. Everyone I have spoken with is incredibly supportive. Many have given us ideas and ideas. suggestions and we pull it all out.Our aim is for this event to be something very special honoring those who have lost their lives, first responders, firefighters, law enforcement, hospital staff, etc. and those who are entered the service in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

While there will be events statewide and nationwide, Miller hopes many will choose to attend the Runnels County commemoration: “We know a number of events are happening on the same day, but we hope that the residents of Runnels County will take the time on September 11 to join us in honoring those who were and still are linked to September 11, 2001. And if they cannot join us, we ask that ‘they take the time during their otherwise busy day to stop for a minute of silence in honor of those who will be forever linked to September 11. “

The ceremony will take place on the lawn of the Runnels County Courthouse at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 11.

On 09/11/2001, 2,977 people lost their lives in the terrorist attacks which struck the two buildings of the World Trade Center (2,606), the Pentagon (125) and on 4 hijacked airliners (265). The victims included 344 firefighters, as well as 71 law enforcement officers who died at the World Trade Center and on the ground in New York.


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