Legion plans 9/11 remembrance

The 9/11 remembrance banner signed by members of American Legion Post 61, which will soon feature the signatures of law enforcement, firefighters, first responders and members of the military. The banner will be displayed at the post’s event on Sept. 11 in Watertown. Provided photo

WATERTOWN — The American Legion Army & Navy Post 61 is set to host a 20th anniversary event in remembrance of 9/11 on Saturday, Sept. 11 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The “We Will Never Forget 9/11 20th Remembrance Anniversary” event will be held at the American Legion Army & Navy Post 61 located on Sterling Street.

As part of the program, more than 700 names of first responders whose lives were lost on that fateful day 20 years ago will be read.

The names of Fort Drum soldiers who lost their lives in the global war on terrorism will also be read, and the Legion is looking for volunteers to be name readers.

With more than 700 individuals to be remembered, at least 70 readers are needed. Businesses, organizations and individuals are asked to register to provide the number of name readers by emailing adjutant61@outlook.com no later than Sept. 5.

Individuals will also be able to recognize loved ones lost in the global war on terrorism.

“On 9/11, I was a civilian employee out on Fort Drum working at the medical clinic,” said William “Bill” J. Flynn III, publicity chair of American Legion Post 61. “That was a devastating day for I think our whole country. I know that we continued, but it was very surreal following having seen those pictures on the television, knowing that we had been attacked.”

Another related project, Watertown Project 3,000, in honor of the nearly 3,000 victims of 9/11, seeks to collect donations of nonperishable food items for the Community Action Planning Council’s food pantry the week leading up to the remembrance event. Collection locations include the American Legion Post 61, 138 Sterling St., and the VFW Post 1400, 231 Bellow Ave.

On the day of the event, there will be church bell-ringings prior to the event’s start at the six key times when events occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. At 8:46 a.m., the North Tower was struck, at 9:03 the South Tower was struck, at 10:23 the North Tower collapsed, at 9:37 the Pentagon was struck, at 9:59 the South Tower collapsed, and at 10:03 United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pa. On the day of remembrance, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, people are asked to wear masks if they fall into a category that deems it necessary.

The day of the event, a banner reading “9/11: We Will Never Forget” will be displayed at the legion featuring signatures from post members, firefighters, police, first responders and military personnel.

“We want to honor those who have fallen,” Mr. Flynn said. “The country needs to unite; we want to show the terrorist organizations, the world, and our fellow Americans that we have not forgotten and we will sacrifice to preserve our freedom.”

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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