A piece of American history in memory of all those who lost their lives in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, will forever be housed in Evesham Township.
Last week, a liaison to the governor’s office presented Evesham Township officials with one of 100 flags flown over the 9/11 Memorial in New York City at Ground Zero this past Sept. 11.
The flags were split evenly between New York and New Jersey.
Mayor Randy Brown accepted the flag from Rich DeRose on behalf of the township council. The flag cannot be flown, Brown said, but will be on display for all those who wish to see it in the glass case in the lobby of the municipal complex.
It will be moved to a more secure location in the future, he said.
DeRose shook hands with returning veteran Brian Worthington.
DeRose, also a veteran of the U.S. Army, thanked Worthington for his service to the country and showed him the flag. The township council honored Worthington two successful tours of duty with the U.S. Marine Corp.
His brother, Kevin, was also honored, but was not at the meeting as he was in North Carolina at the time.
Worthington and his brother both knew the day after Sept. 11, 2001, they would serve their country by enlisting in the armed forces, he said. He served his first tour in Cuba at Guantanamo Bay and then his second tour “all over the Middle East.”
“I could not have picked a better night to present this flag with a fellow veteran in attendance,” DeRose said.
The decision to present Evesham Township with one of the historic flags came as a bit of a surprise, Brown said, as DeRose only contacted him a week before to let him know that the township had been selected by the state for the honor.
“This town deserves one of these flags because of the people you see standing before you tonight,” Brown said, pointing to DeRose, Worthington and Leslie Drummond, founder of the Yellow Ribbon Club.
Evesham Township is home to Leroy Homer Jr., one of the pilots on the tragic United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed into an open field in Shanksville, Pa., after it had been hijacked by four al-Qaeda terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.
Homer was flying with Capt. Jason M. Dahl that morning.
Passengers on the flight, after learning of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that morning, are believed to have attempted to forcefully take back the airplane, which led to a struggle and, ultimately, the plane crashing into the Shanksville field.