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Birdwell speaking Friday at local Patriots Day event

Staff Writer
Glen Rose Reporter
State Sen. Brian Birdwell

American Legion Post 462 and Patriots for Christ are inviting the public to join them starting at 8:30 a.m. for the 9.11.01 Patriots Day public event Friday, Sept. 11, on the Somervell Courthouse Square in downtown Glen Rose.

The keynote speaker will be state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-District 22, a Sept. 11, 2001, survivor of the terror attack on The Pentagon. Birdwell, a native Texan who lives in Granbury, is a retired Army officer.

Birdwell was working in his second floor office in The Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the facility during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, critically injuring him. He suffered burns — nearly half of which were third-degree — over more than 60% of his body.

Birdwell, who had 39 operations and numerous skin grafts, was awarded a Purple Heart. When he retired from the Army in July 2004, Birdwell was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

“We are honored to have our own Sen. Brian Birdwell with us for the Patriots Day ceremony this year,” said Deedee Jones, one of the event’s organizers. “As a survivor of the 9/11/2001 attack on the Pentagon, he has an important message to share. He is a good friend of mine and of Somervell County.”

Also during the event, Trent Summers is scheduled to play "Amazing Grace" on his bagpipes, and Melissa Busch will sing the National Anthem.

The Somervell County Fire Department and local law enforcement officers are also planning to participate.

Birdwell, a Republican, announced in June that he will be running for re-election in Senate District 22. His opponent in the Nov. 3 election will be Democrat Robert Vick.