Harford sheriff, deputies honor 9/11's memory

In an afternoon ceremony Friday, employees of the Harford County Sheriff's Office commemorated the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.

In what police Public Information Officer Monica Worrell called an internal ceremony for the deputies, Sheriff Jesse Bane gave a moving speech after the presentation of colors from the honor guard and Kelleigh Pangratz sang the "Star-Spangled Banner."

"You honor the men and women in uniform and all others in plain clothes by being here," Bane said, thanking all guests and deputies who came.

As survivors of the 9/11 attacks, Bane said, it is the public's job to remember the lives that were lost on 9/11 so that they remain with us and are never forgotten.

Bane also praised America, saying, "She is as great as the sacrifices and the acts of courage that many heroes displayed on that tragic day."

Giving speeches on tragedies "frustrates" him, Bane said later, because he feels he cannot give the deceased their "just due." He also showed a new pin given to deputies to wear in remembrance of 9/11.

The pin, a red, white and blue small rectangle reading 9/11/01 Never Forget will be displayed beneath the badge and above the pocket button on deputies' chests. It will be mandatory during the month of September each year, Bane said, and optional for all other months.

In an interview after Friday's ceremony, Bane said the idea came from a deputy in the agency nearly six to eight months ago to demonstrate the office's commemoration of the anniversary.

By holding the ceremony at the Northern Precinct station in Jarrettsville, Worrell also said they honored the two Harford County deputies who have died in the line of duty. A memorial statue, dedicated to the two men, is located at the station.

For Bane, 9/11 meant an increased awareness of the dangers that could come to Harford County, something he said he does "not take lightly." He said he remains committed to making Harford County as safe and secure as it can be.

"I fear for our families, I fear for our children, I fear for our way of life," he said, "because it is under attack by an invisible enemy."

In the crowd of deputies was one guest from the public, Leslie Anderson, from Forest Hill. Coming to this 9/11 ceremony, and others scheduled over the weekend, she said, is part of how she was raised.

"My mother taught me to always be patriotic," Anderson said, "and I just wanted to honor the people and the families of those who passed away on 9/11."

The ceremony was "reverent," she added, and "served it's purpose well."

Anderson said the 9/11 tragedy has made her look at first responders and emergency personnel in a different light.

"I appreciate first responders more," Anderson said, while tearing up. "Policemen and people like that sort of became my hero after that."

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