Reflecting back a little over one year, to Armed Forces Day, May 19, 2012, this park, and special place of remembrance and tribute, was dedicated to the Community by the Apostolic Nuncio, the Pope’s Ambassador to the United States, just as the Letterkenny Chapel was similarly and spiritually blessed and dedicated following its construction by Italian Prisoners of War in 1945. It is important to note, that we truly feel that it is God’s Divine hand that has guided and fulfilled the objectives of this Park, since the initial vision of the late Senator Terry Punt in 2006, and the leadership that continues to inspire us at every monthly meeting since the ground breaking in October 2011.
At the official Dedication, F&M Trust employees, Karen Carmack and Ronald Cekovich, raised this version of the 9/11 flag during the Armed Forces Day Service and flag display ceremony. Since then, all of the flags you see flying have been replaced one time, with the exception of the 9/11 flag. We discovered, that this flag was a limited edition and no longer in production. Further research quickly identified a newer and more official version of the 9/11 flag.
We continue to be grateful to F&M Trust for its financial commitment to the Memorial Park and financial sponsorship of this most important flag display.
The 9/11 flag just lowered has the words “Never Forget”. The new flag has the words “We Remember”. It is the official New York State (NYS) September 11 memorial flag, which is flown at Ground Zero in New York City, and was unveiled by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, on September 6, 2011.
The flag was raised in honor of the victims of September 11th and the countless first responders who came from all across the nation to help in the clean-up and recovery efforts; some from Franklin County.
Flag Symbolism: On the “Blue Field” of the flag, there are 40 yellow stars that signify the passenger and crew fatalities on Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA. The Pentagon is represented by its geometric shape where 125 military and government employees died. Inside this shape are the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, where 2,606 died, and the date 9/11 centered on the towers. In total, 206 passengers and crew died in the planes that struck the WTC (American Flight 11 – 87 + United Flight 175 – 60) and the Pentagon (American 77 – 59). On the flag, the letters “USA” (United States of America) and “NYS” (New York State) are in the lower portion of the insignia.
The words “We Remember” is the antithesis of “Never Forget”. Governor Cuomo said, “…….looking forward we remember the faces, the stories, and the heroes of that day and this flag reminds us to always pass on those memories to future generations.”…….. 2,977 died that day. The symbols on the flag evoke what was lost on September 11th, …… and what still endures.
Thank you, again, to Bill and Warren, and to F&M Trust for sponsoring this flag, and to each of you for being a part of this ceremony…. Thank you for all that each of you has done to make this Franklin County Veterans and 9/11 Memorial Park the incredible Community Place of Quiet Remembrance and Patriotic Tribute that it truly is.
Two flags remain to be sponsored: We have been working very hard to secure sponsorship for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Flag Display, which we are hopeful will be raised as part of that Service and Ceremony. The greater challenge will be finding full sponsorship for the Police Flag Display by Veterans Day.