The Heart of Texas Historians and Storytellers will be hosting their 5th annual event on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at the Heart of Texas Event Center. This year the group has invited William Groneman III who was a captain and company commander of Engine Company 308 which worked at Ground Zero just hours after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
William Groneman III was born and raised in New York City, and currently lives in Kerrville, Texas. He is a graduate of Manhattan College with a degree in History. He is also a former member of NYC Fire Department, having served in the ranks of Firefighter, Fire Marshal, Lieutenant, and Captain. He retired in February 2002 after twenty-five years to pursue his writing career.
Groneman was off duty as Captain of Engine Company 308 on the morning of September 11, 2001. He returned to duty, going to the scene of the World Trade Center attack with a team of his firefighters. They remained there for the next twelve hours contributing to the rescue efforts. He and the men from Engine 308 returned to the scene a number of times in the following weeks. His book, September 11: A Memoir, (2011) tells the story of his experiences.
Although Groneman’s presentation will focus on the events of September 11, 2001, he is also a long-time student of the battle of the Alamo. He has written a number of books and articles exploring the history of the Alamo and the questions surrounding the death of David Crockett. Other books he has written are: Alamo Defenders – A Genealogy: The People and Their Words, 1990; Defense of a Legend: Crockett and the De la Pena Diary, 1994; Battlefields of Texas, 1998; Death of a Legend: The Myth and Mystery Surrounding the Death of Davy Crockett, 1999; David Crockett – Hero of the Common Man, 2005; Eyewitness to the Alamo, 2017. In addition, Groneman has contributed numerous articles to the Forge Books anthologies; an original song to the Western Writers of American’s music anthology; and has published articles in Roundup Magazine, the Steinbeck Review, True West, and Wild West Magazines. He is a member of the Western Writers of America, The Western Music Association, the John Steinbeck Society, and the Texas Folklore Society.
In addition to Groneman’s presentation, special guests Brandon and Kelly Bohannon will be sharing their insights and experiences of September 11 while residing in NYC. The Bohannons recently accepted a position with a new church near Ft. Worth after having served the congregation of Vision Heights Church in Brady for seven years. Kelly taught Math at Brady High School, and aside from church commitments, they and their two sons were heavily involved in community activities during their time here.
During the event, Brady’s EMS and Fire Department of Brady, and volunteer fire departments of Lohn, Melvin, Placid, Rochelle, and Voca will be recognized for their daily heroism and willingness to come to the aid of all citizens and who proudly serve our community by providing 24-hour fire protection and advanced medical life support service. Newly appointed Brady Fire Chief, Brian Meroney will also be sharing his insights of 9/11. Meroney was last employed at the Saginaw Fire Department and has more than 23 years of firefighting experience. He is has obtained numerous certifications including both fire and EMS instructor certification. The HOT Historians and Storytellers group is proud to recognize the life-saving contributions and achievements as well as the dedication and commitment of those who serve in the various fire departments and EMS.
This very special presentation by William Groneman III will be Sunday, September 10, beginning at 2:00 PM at the Heart of Texas Event Center, 805 San Angelo Hwy. 87. There is no admission charge, although donations will be gratefully accepted at the door. The Heart of Texas Historians and Storytellers is a collaborative group made up of representatives from the Heart of Texas Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the Sons of the Republic of Texas, Heart of Texas Historical Museum, and the Heart of Texas Writers Group.
I believe that William is a member of the Class of 1974.
[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]