Carol Hartlove’s husband Bill called her three times on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. At work at the Community College of Baltimore County Dundalk, the first time he called he told her that one of the twin towers in New York was on fire.
The second time, he called to tell her a second plane had crashed into the twin towers.
“Then, he called about the Pentagon,” she recalled at the 9/11 Twilight Remembrance at Saturday evening as she passed out candles with her husband to arriving families. “It just gives me chills thinking about the lives that were lost, the children growing up without their dads, the women who were pregnant whose children never knew their dads.”
Hartlove, like other , was sent home that morning and followed the events on the news.
“We were under attack. No one knew what was going to happen next,” she said.
Ten years later, at the annual Twilight Remembrance event, she reflected, along with many others, on those who died on Sept. 11, the courage of the first responders, the brave men and women who serve in the military today, and how things have changed since for so many.
“My grandson, Robert Hartlove Jr., has served twice in Iraq,” Hartlove said. “He’s a Marine.”
Organized by the Dundalk Heritage Parade committee, the Twilight Remembrance was co-chaired and hosted by Don Kellner and Bob Crandell.
The Maryland Defense Force Band, inside the renovated Heritage Park gazebo, played several numbers, including “Taps” after a moment of silence for those who lost their lives Sept. 11 or defending the country since. Malavlyn Statham sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and Mary Stalvey sang “God Bless America.”
Inside a tent was large a piece of twisted steel beam cut from the wreckage of one the twin towers, a powerful, tangible reminder of the horrific morning that unfolded in New York, Washington, D.C. and rural Pennsylvania.
Congressman C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger told the crowd that Dundalk is the most patriotic town in the most patriotic county in the country, and thanked the volunteers who keep the Twilight Remembrance going each year.
“There are 435 members, and I brag I have the most patriotic district in the country,” Ruppersberger said.
He said he hoped the 9/11 anniversary events would serve as a reminder of what’s best about America and encourage politicians to put aside partisan politics and lift the country again.
“Hopefully, the 9/11 remembrances will bring the country together,” Ruppersberger said, “serving as momentum to move forward.”