To Our Harrison Family,
Please join me and our Township Committee members for our local Patriot Day ceremony in commemoration of the 21st anniversary of the September 11th attack on our freedom. The event will be held at our 9/11 Memorial located at Church & Main Street on Sunday, September 11th at 1 PM.
Presented at our Memorial are artifacts from the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the crash site in Western Pennsylvania. These artifacts include a slab of limestone from The Pentagon, a fragment of shale from the crash site of United Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania and a piece of box steel from the World Trade Center in NYC that positional and forensic evidence confirms came from the North Tower, between the 50th and 54th Floors.
The fanatical actions of that day were rooted in extremism, with its deadly tentacles becoming a global threat in the years since 2001. This energized a rising national spirit in our country. Instead of a perpetual day of mourning, September 11th is now known as Patriot Day, and it symbolizes the courage, strength, and character of America. As always, American resiliency has transformed evil or tragic events into something positive.
We honor the 2,977 people lost on September 11, 2001 and recognize that 415 of them were first responders in uniform who ran into those burning buildings to save innocent victims. The pure gallantry of the Firefighters and Police Officers that day and those who serve every day is astounding. Our respect for the men and women who put on a uniform should be endless.
We tell and retell the story of the heroic actions taken aboard United Flight 93, which can be summed up in the profound selflessness of two words: “Let’s Roll”. We know the passengers on that flight had full knowledge of the hijacker’s intent and they chose their valiant path with intent. In doing so, they redefined the definition of the word “patriot.”
We all have our personal recollection of that moment when our country, our way of life, was attacked. Many of us remember where we were that September day in 2001 that changed the world. Now, more than 20 years later, we have an entire generation of Americans who were not born yet or were too young to have a personal memory of the actual event. For them, September 11, 2001, is like Pearl Harbor… something they read about in history books or watch TV documentaries on. It falls to us, the parents, and grandparents of this younger generation, to provide contexts around the written and visual accounts of this historic episode for them and future generations. Perhaps, bringing your family to this annual Mullica Hill tradition can be part of that process.
In closing, may I suggest that you take a moment on Patriot Day to remember that America, with all its imperfections, still stands as the beacon of freedom and benevolence to the world. We are like no other culture in human history and September 11th is a day to show our patriotic pride in that distinction and recognize how fragile it is.
Together for Harrison Township,