(Mantua, NJ) – The Annual Gloucester County Patriot Day Ceremony was held Saturday, September 11 8:30 a.m. at the 9/11 Memorial at the Place of Reflection, inside Chestnut Branch Park on Main St. in Mantua.
The Memorial is a tribute to the victims and heroes of the September 11 attack. Gloucester County residents John Rodak, Nicholas W. Brandemarti and Perry Thompson were the those lives lost that day.
The brief ceremony included 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 family, first responders, the Clearview Vocal Ensemble & Marching Band and area clergy.
Commissioner Director Robert M. Damminger said, “During the 20th anniversary of the tragic events that unfolded on American soil at the hands of terrorists, not only do we pay our respects to those we lost, including the lives from Gloucester County, but we proudly honor the men and women who ran to the scene, answering the call for help in the face of the unknown.”
Senate President Steve Sweeney said, “Honoring the loved ones lost on September 11 is very important. The ceremony we hold each year memorializes the lives of the emergency responders, civilians and our military who responded to the terrorist attacks 20 years ago. We will always remember their sacrafices.
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 September 11, and a memorial that represents those who were lost in the United Flight 93, Shanksville PA in 2001.
Thank you to EP Henry, Colonial Landscape and Design, Brida Stone for their generous contributions to this park and to Proof Productions for the staging and sound. Y-By Rental for their donations every year, Lamp Light Florist for providing new wreaths and arrangements for the 20th Anniversary and Lucas Farms for providing the mums decorating this year’s ceremony.
Pictured in Group Photo: Commissioner Dan Christy, Mantua Mayor Pete Scirrotto, Commissioner Deputy Director Frank J. DiMarco, Commissioner Director Robert M. Damminger, Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Gloucester County Sheriff Carmel M. Morina, West Deptford Mayor Denice DiCarlo, Gloucester County Surrogate Giuseppe Chila, Commissioner Jim Jefferson
Pictured: Robert M. Damminger, Director of the Gloucester County Board of Commissioners, speaking at the Gloucester County Annual Patriot's Day Ceremony.