The Kosciusko County 2012 Patriot Day Remembrance Ceremony held in Warsaw this evening was well attended by first responders from all over the county who came to hear a touching prayer, patriotic music and a speech by Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer.The ceremony began with the presentation of colors by the Indiana National Guard and the singing of the national anthem by Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Kellar. The Pledge of Allegiance was then led by Boy Scouts of Troop 715 and a prayer was given by Ken Locke.
Mike Cox, chairman of the 9/11 Committee, then introduced Thallemer who began his speech saying, “The impact on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, was profound … like that fateful day in Hawaii some 60 years earlier, we never knew what hit us.”
Thallemer said that during the terrorist attacks 11 years ago, “… time seemed to stand still … 11 years later, we can still feel the horror; still feel the hurt.”With approximately 50 fire fighters, police officers and medics standing during his speech and at least that many more members of the general public tuning in from their seats, Thallemer recalled a song by folksinger Don Mclean and cited the words, “Bye Bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry.”
Noting the song was written for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. Richardson, known as The Big Bopper, who perished in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, Thallemer added that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, were yet another cause in U.S. history for “the day the music died.”
The mayor added, “… pride and servitude stirred the hearts across the land, and right here in Warsaw, Indiana. Things will never be the same. We’ll never forget the images; we’ll always remember those heroes….The value of community will never be underestimated.”
Thallemer closed his speech with the final line of Mclean’s song, “But something touched me deep inside, the day the music died.”
Cox ended the ceremony thanking the community for its continued support of the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and for honoring Patriot Day and the memory of all those who perished in the terrorist attacks, and for the service of all first responders.