Charles County Honors 9/11 Victims, Families
LA PLATA, MD - 9/8/2011
By Andy Marquis
Local victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were honored during a somber ceremony Wednesday morning. Six Charles County residents were killed during the attacks, five at The Pentagon and one on American Airlines Flight 77 that flew in to The Pentagon.
Kris Romeo Bishundat, 23, from Waldorf was an Information Systems Technician, Second Class, for the United States Navy. Donna Bowen, 42, from Waldorf was a Pentagon Communications Representative for Verizon. Sharon A. Carver, 38, was a civilian employee for the United States Army. Angela M. Houtz, 27, of La Plata was a civilian employee for the United States Navy. Shelley A. Marshall, 27 of Marbury was a Budget Analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency. John D. Yamnicky Sr., 71, from Waldorf was a Defense Contractor for the Veridian Corp.
Bishundat, Bowen, Carver, Houtz and Marshall were all killed when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed in to The Pentagon at 9:37am EST on September 11, 2001. Yamnicky was on board Flight 77.
County Administration Rebecca Bridgett made the opening remarks. Reverend Mike Hilson, pastor at New Life Church in White Plains, delivered the invocation. The Presentation of Colors was done by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office color guard. Tyme Collims, son of Charles County Commissioner Vice President Reuben Collins (D), performed the National Anthem. Charles County Commissioner President Candice Quinn Kelly (D) spoke about the horrifying events of that day.
“It’s difficult to imagine that it’s been ten years since that fateful day,” Kelly said. “September 11 2001, a day that impacted the lives of so many Americans.
“I would like to talk to the families because none of us in this room has any idea of how this impacted your lives. We as a board of commissioners and we as a grateful county planned this event today to spend a little time with you this morning in reflection. We’re parents, we’re mothers. We cannot imagine what you’ve been through and the sacrifice your loved one and families have made.
“I’ll make this very brief and we want you to know that there’s very little we can do except that ten years later, i wore red deliberately because it’s a strong bold color. it says that we have faith, that we're strong, that we will persevere.
“I wore my little eagle pin on purpose because, in the toughest of times when it’s hard and we question and we say how could this be, it’s a little symbol of the end of the day is what keeps us going as Americans. It’s what keeps us going as a country, as a county and as our individual communities, our little groups, our little groups that have sustained you, your families, your friends, your churches. What i want to leave you with is: today we wrap our hearts around you.
“That’s all that we can do is to leave you with the message and to know always that on behalf of all of our citizens, were so grateful to your loved ones for the sacrifice that they’ve made and were so grateful to each and every one of you for so selflessly moving forward, dealing with this grief that has to be so insurmountable on some days. But know always that our hearts are with you. Our arms and our hearts are wrapped around you. if ever there is anything we can do to help you, however small it might be, please don’t hesitate to call us and we hope that as you hear each of your loved ones names mentioned and their bio mentioned, that will be a reminder that we'll never forget. We’ll never forget what our country survived on that day is just a hardship that everyone remembers where we were and what we did and what we were doing but no one more keenly than you.”
Each of the Commissioners spoke about the six people killed that day. Family members were presented with Charles County flags.
“It was a long day, an extremely long and painful day,” Joe Shontere, stepfather to Angela Houtz said. You don’t really get over that day, but you learn to live with it. Here we are ten years later, and our County Commissioners, our county, our state and our federal government will not allow 9/11 to be forgotten and God bless them for that.”
“It was a bad day that we will never forget,” Janet Yamnicky, widow to John D. Yamnicky Sr., said. “He loved the Navy, he loved his country, he loved his church and I’m sure he was willing to die for his church.”
The benediction was presented by Bishop James M. Briscoe from the Free Gospel Church of Bryans Road.
Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on America.