Annapolis Hosts First Maryland Freedom Walk
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
ANNAPOLIS, Md., Sept. 12, 2006 This colonial city, Maryland’s capital and home of the U.S. Naval Academy, commemorated the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks yesterday morning with its first Maryland Freedom Walk.
Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich and his wife, Kendel, join schoolchildren participating in the Sept. 11 Maryland Freedom Walk in Annapolis, Md., to commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and to honor veterans past and present. Courtesy photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
More than 100 area residents joined Gov. Robert Ehrlich and Annapolis Mayor Ellen Moyer at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, walking together through a light drizzle to the Maryland Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
The Annapolis City Color Guard led the procession along Rowe Boulevard, the main thoroughfare into the city center, to the memorial. There, fourth graders from St. Mary’s Elementary School led participants in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Shades of Vision and the Kent Island Big Band played patriotic songs.
Ehrlich encouraged the group to draw strength from each other as they remembered the events of Sept. 11. “Although the terrorists attacked our nation, they did not and cannot damage our spirit,” he said.
The governor recognized the American heroes who dedicated themselves to rescue and recovery efforts, not just on Sept. 11, but for the many months that followed. “We will never forget those who risked their lives to help people in need five years ago, and today we thank our veterans and servicemembers who continue to protect our freedom.”
“As you run to the mall, as you pick the kids up from school, as you watch professional football this evening, as you write a letter to the editor, remember who guarantees those freedoms,” the Capital newspaper quoted Ehrlich as telling participants.
Moyer, also addressed the group, urging the walkers to hold hands as they remembered the events of Sept. 11 and the spirit of unity it inspired in the American people. “She talked about the spirit that happens in the midst of tragedy and how people spontaneously began to gather and show resolve and how the healing effect began,” said Ray Weaver, Moyer’s public information officer.
A big supporter of the U.S. military as well as veterans and first responders, Moyer felt it was important to participate in the Freedom Walk to honor those who served the country on Sept. 11 and continue to serve. She wanted to honor “the people who, instead of running away from tragedy, run into it,” Weaver said.
Annapolis’ Freedom Walk was among more than 130 Freedom Walks throughout the United States during the past weekend and yesterday that commemorated the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.