Mike Connolly

(Red Oak) -- The Montgomery County First Responders are sponsoring a candid conversation later this month about the 9/11 terrorist attacks with retired New York fire fighter Mike Connolly.

Connolly, a Red Oak resident and part-time member of the Red Oak Fire Department, will give a 9/11 presentation on Sunday, January 26th at 3 p.m. inside the Wilson Performing Arts Center in Red Oak. Red Oak Police Chief Justin Rhamy tells KMA News that Connolly will be sharing his story and experiences from that tragic day in U.S. history.

"Mr. Connolly was a fire fighter in New York City on that fateful day of 9/11," Rhamy said. "He was out on medical leave. During the course of that day, his firehouse suffered the largest loss during that particular day. It hits pretty close to home with him."

Rhamy says Connolly gave this same presentation to the local history class at Red Oak High School, which sparked interest to have him host it publicly.

"It's very humbling to listen to him speak about that day," Rhamy said. "I don't even know if there is a word for it. He's very professional when he gives his speech and presentation. It's all about banding together, no matter what it is."

Rhamy adds there's no fee for entry to the event, however, attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable item for donation to a local food pantry.

"Mike kind of came up with this idea on his own to encourage giving," Rhamy said. "He would like if anyone is able to, bring a nonperishable food item for a donation to our local pantry."

A reception will be hosted by the Red Oak Rotary Club following the presentation. The Wilson Performing Arts Center is located at 300 Commerce Drive in Red Oak. For more information on the event, call 712-623-3135.

Rhamy was a recent guest on KMA's "Morning Routine" program.