Patriots Day 2020
Each September 11, Post 142 cohosts a memorial ceremony honoring all the citizens who perished in the cowardly, yet worst single act of terrorism perpetrated on American soil. Over 6000 people were injured, almost 3000 fatalities, including hundreds of firefighters and dozens of law enforcement officers. Sadly, many first responders who worked diligently for weeks and months on the rubble that was once the proud “Twin Towers” of the New York Trade Center, are continuing to perish even today, 19 years later, from environmentally-based diseases acquired from the highly toxic environment of what is now referred to simply as “the pile” by those who labored in the ruins.
This year’s ceremony was to be streamlined due to the Covid-19 constraints limiting group size and attended by officers and members of the Retired NY Firefighters Organization formed here in Broward County, and a minimal contingent from Post 142 consisting of the Commander, Chaplain, and the rifle squad and bugler from the Post 142 honor guard. By the time of the ceremony at 11:00 AM, a group of American patriots, members and family of the American Legion Post 142 Family, as well as others wishing to acknowledge the heroism of the victims of September 11, 2001, gathered in the 2nd Street parking lot in front of the Post building. All did their best to maintain their social distancing for the protection of everyone present.
David Sweeney, Commander of Post 142, MC’d the ceremony, with presentations from the leadership of the Firefighters’ organization, some spoken thoughts from those in the audience, placing of flowers at the 9-11 Memorial constructed at Post 142, tribute of raising of the American National Flag, the firing of a three-round volley of rifle fire, and the ceremony concluded with the benediction by Chaplain Toomey, and the traditional rendition of Taps by the Post bugler.
Some of the attendees exchanged greetings and conversations at the Post’s Tiki Hut before departing for the day.
The Post 142 Historian, Retired Marine Corp Gunny Sergeant, Tommy Thomas recorded the ceremony in a series of still photos, some of which are posted here.