Erie County 1 of 60 communities in US to lead new national 9/11 Day of Remembrance project
√ 9/11 Day of Service, sponsored by the RSVP program, will include a food drive for FeedMore of WNY, blood drive for American Red Cross
On Saturday, Sept. 11, Erie County will join 60 communities across the country to memorialize those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, in a special ceremony hosted by the Erie County Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, the Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the WNY Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial, and Explore & More – The Ralph C Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum. The ceremony will take place rain or shine at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park at 8:30 a.m.
The 60 sites will read the names of all 2,977 men, women and children who lost their lives on 9/11, with each site assigned 50 names. In addition to the 50 assigned names, Erie County volunteers will be reading 29 names of people with a connection to Western New York, as well as the names of local first responders who died due to their service at Ground Zero. Additionally, the Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial Committee will read the names of the Western New Yorkers who died in the ensuing War on Terror.
Community members are invited to submit names they would like to be remembered by visiting the Naval Park website.
“Western New Yorkers played a significant role in the response to 9/11, both as first responder volunteers and as National Guard members deployed to Ground Zero,” said Daniel Neaverth Jr., commissioner of the Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. “This event provides us an opportunity to honor their service and remember those who lost their lives that day.”
Activities commence with the national anthem sung by Buffalo’s Singing Cops, officers Moe Badger and Michael Norwood Jr., with additional music provided by the Greater Buffalo Firefighters Pipes and Drums and the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band. Color Guards from the Buffalo Fire Department, Buffalo Police Department, and U.S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo will raise the 9/11 Flag of Honor. The Edward M. Cotter fireboat will provide a tribute marking the event.
“The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park’s mission to honor, educate, inspire and preserve is reflected in our commitment to remembering 9/11,” said Paul Marzello, president and CEO. “The role this event played in our country’s military history over the past 20 years cannot be overstated, and we are honored to be able to be part of ensuring that Western New York never forgets these tragic events.”
The memorial ceremony will kick off a day of events at the Naval Park dedicated to 9/11. The 9/11 Day of Service, sponsored by the RSVP program, will include a food drive for FeedMore of WNY from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a blood drive for the American Red Cross from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Donors can register for the blood drive by visiting the Red Cross website. Nonperishable food items can be brought to the Naval Park gift shop. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., families can visit the free “Honk for Heroes” family event that will showcase military, law enforcement, and first responder vehicles, aircraft and personnel. Additionally, admission to both the Naval Park and Explore & More will be pay-what-you-can on that day thanks to Geico and Bank of America.
RSVP is a program of AmeriCorps Seniors that supports hundreds of volunteers at sites throughout Erie County and is a program of the Erie County Department of Senior Services. For more information, visit https://www2.erie.gov/seniorservices/index.php?q=volunteer-amp-employment.
The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s largest inland naval park and is committed to its mission, which is to honor, educate, inspire and preserve. Located on Buffalo’s waterfront, this unique family destination features four decommissioned Naval vessels that served in a variety of military conflicts in this nation’s history.
To learn more, visit https://buffalonavalpark.org/.