The Arc Central Chesapeake Region (The Arc), a nonprofit committed to transforming lives for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), will be holding a Day of Remembrance in commemoration of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The organization will join hundreds of others across the community in turning a day of tragedy into a day of support and hope.
The Day of Remembrance event will take place at the Stoltz Pavilion and pay tribute to the individuals lost and injured in the attacks, as well as honor the first responders and the many others who have risen in service to support their community members. This event is the final event in a series of activities designed to create awareness that during emergency situations where time is a critical factor, the vulnerable population—people with disabilities, elderly, children, and others—are disproportionately affected by the crisis, and many times their needs are not considered in emergency planning.
According to Deena Kilmon, the local Director of Engagement of The Arc, the idea for this project came about when The Arc of the United States put out a call asking, ‘how would you communicate this message to your community?’
“We decided on a three-pronged approach,” said Kilmon. “The first was a community art contest: You are the Help Until Help Arrives/Remembering Those Lost. Hundreds of artwork were submitted, and many can be seen on banners throughout downtown Easton. Next, we did a series of safety trainings in partnership with the Talbot Department of Emergency Services. The third was the event– Day of Remembrance.”
Joined by partners, For All Seasons, The Avalon Theater, and the Talbot Department of Emergency Services, and supported by the Town of Easton, the commemoration will feature Beth Anne Langrell, Chief Executive Officer – For All Seasons – as keynote speaker, who will discuss her connection to 9/11, as well as what services and supports a community like ours can offer in times of crisis.
“We’ll be showing a video of all the activities we’ve done all summer and will have more artwork on display at the Avalon,” says Kilmon. “But what’s so wonderful about it is that each one of our artworks represents a person who has had a conversation either with me or someone on our team about how they would help someone in their community directly. I think the impact has been significant.”
As to what Kilmon anticipates will be the message that people will take away, she said: “Our hope is how I entitled the art project, ‘You are the Help Until Help Arrives,’ which basically says if you are the first person on the scene or if you are called to support someone, that you will have the confidence to step up and take action and support the people in your community. You are the hero.”
That hope may already have been realized, as Kilmon recalls one art submission that just may show the shift she envisioned. When she couldn’t decipher what the artist was trying to draw, she asked for clarification. “The woman said, ‘Well, that’s an ear, because Deena, the first thing you do when something happens is that you be quiet yourself, and you listen to see how you can help.’ And I thought that is brilliant. Here we were all babbling about, ‘I would do this’ or ‘I would do that,’ and she said, ‘I would immediately stop talking. And I would listen to see how I could help my neighbors.’ You know this summed up the whole reason I did this project.”
The Arc Central Chesapeake Region Day of Remembrance will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2021, from 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM at the Stoltz Pavilion, 40 East Dover Street, Easton, MD. Deena Kilmon can be reached at