The annual Gloucester County Patriot Day Ceremony will take place on Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m. at the 9/11 Memorial at the Place of Reflection, inside of Chestnut Branch Park in Mantua. The ceremony is open to the public and is about an hour long.
The memorial is a tribute to Gloucester County residents John Rodak, Nicholas W. Brandemarti, Perry Thompson and all of those who lost their lives during the attack on America on Sept. 11, 2001.
The brief ceremony includes bell ringing to coincide with the timing of the tragic events of that fateful morning, a wreath laying at the 9/11 Memorial, and participation from the Rodak and Brandemarti families, first responders, the Clearview Regonal Vocal Ensemble, area clergy and the Emerald Society.
This year is the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on America.
Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, “We join together as a community on Sept. 11 and reflect on the lives of our neighbors who were lost, and all those who perished on that terrible day in 2001. This day helps us remember that we are joined as Americans and not separated by our differences.”
Mantua Township Mayor Pete Scirrotto said, “This ceremony is a small way to honor the loved ones lost on such a tragic day. It also provides an opportunity to say thank you to those who serve in the military as well as our emergency responders who fight to protect us every day.”
The Place of Reflection’s 9/11 Memorial includes many sacred elements, including a twisted I-beam from the World Trade Center, a flagpole donated by the Rodak and Brandimarti families, a professionally landscaped five-point area around the flagpoles as a tribute to the Pentagon victims of the attack of Sept. 11, and a memorial that represents those who were lost in the United Flight 93, Shanksville, Penn. in 2001.