Indianapolis – When four hijacked airliners crashed into three East Coast buildings and the Pennsylvania countryside on the morning of September 11, 2001, nearly three thousand Americans died.
The highest ranking soldier to die on the first day of that new war on terrorism was Indianapolis native Lt. General Timothy Maude at the Pentagon.
“He was a soldier’s soldier,” said Brigadier General Stewart Goodwin, Executive Director of the Indiana War Memorials Commission and a close friend of the Maude family. “I’m proud to say that I learned things from Tim when I became a senior officer that I incorporated because he was probably one of the most unpretentious people that I ever met.”
Maude attended the Latin School in Indianapolis and later went on to Marion College where he met the woman he would marry and began a military career that would take him to Vietnam and other postings around the world before returning home to take charge of U.S. Army personnel.
“Tim never saw himself as a high ranking official even though he was,” said Teri Maude. “The Army had a slogan “Be All That You Can Be.” It changed to “Army of One.” Tim was the architect of that change who was the first person to decide to brand the Army.
“Recruiting in the Army had almost reached a crisis point and it was difficult to achieve and accomplish. One of the things that the “Army of One” campaign did was to for the first time in several years allowed the Army to reach its recruiting goals.”
Maude was at his office in a meeting when word came down at two planes had slammed into the World Trade Center, presumably unaware that the Pentagon was also on that target list.
Teri was across the country in San Diego at a conference lending support to military families when she turned on the TV in her hotel room.
“A short while later of course I saw the inset in the bottom right hand corner of the tv that showed the Pentagon burning and that’s when I first became aware that our nation was at war,” she said. “That’s when my boss called me to tell me that the plane had gone into the Defense Personnel side of the building and nobody knew where Tim was.
“I did get a call that afternoon, the afternoon of September 11th, from the vice chief of staff of the Army and told me it didn’t look good, which I had already surmised, and he said, ‘What can we do?’, and I said, ‘Sir, you can get me the hell out of here,” and he said, ‘Well, Teri, the only plane that’s flying right now is the president’s plane,’ and I said, ‘Sir, I’m not picky.’”
Teri Maude did get home to Washington the next day and drove past the Pentagon, the flames of the crash of American Airlines 77 still burning.
“You have to remember the mindset of the week of September 11, 2001, and the political atmosphere, it was very very different than it is today. At that point in time America had been attacked. If you will, it was the Pearl Harbor of our generation,” said Teri. “We had been attacked, we were in war and we had to go fight and win that war.”
Lt. General Maude was the highest ranking American military officer to die in battle since World War II.
Maude’s family wanted to make sure his sacrifice and commitment to military enlisted personnel was not forgotten.
“We established what we called the Maude Foundation,” said Teri, “and what it did was over the eight years it was up and running we gave over $150,000 to soldiers who were in the Army’s “Green to Gold” program which is a program where enlisted soldiers have the opportunity to go to complete their college degrees and become officers.”
Teri Maude says her husband died doing his job as thousands of others did on September 11th and even more of them in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere over the next twenty years.
“They gave their lives in defense of this country because, I don’t care what your job is, whether you’re a three star general or whatever job you have, grocery store clerk, mid-level executive, high school kid, that’s your job at your point in time, and if you’re doing your job, you’re doing what you can for our nation, for our country, and as long as you are doing your job and in defense of our freedoms and choice and opportunities that we all hold dear and so all of the Hoosiers gave up their lives for our country.”
Teri Maude will be joined by Brigadier General Goodwin and Governor Eric Holcomb at 2 p.m. Saturday as the newly christened Indiana 9/11 Memorial will be rededicated at 451 West Ohio Street.
“I’m going to tell them the story of all the Hoosiers who were killed on 9/11 because it wasn’t just Tim. There were nine other Indiana natives who died that day. All of them are heroes,” said Teri. “They gave their lives doing their ordinary everyday jobs that ordinary everyday people do ordinarily every day.”