9/11 Day of Remembrance Ceremony in Washington Township


On a bright blue day reminiscent of the day of the attacks, Washington Township reflected on the events of September 11, 2001. A crowd of about 50 attended the ceremony organized by the Washington Township Police Association in Red Run Park at the site of the 9/11 Tribute.

Supervisor Dan DeDona opened and emceed the ceremony with comments on the central theme, Never Forget. He observed that at 22 years from the event, there were now full grown adults who have no personal recollection of the attacks. This makes it important to rely on education and ceremony: education to pass on the facts, and ceremony to convey the lessons of a dangerous world including preparation and vigilance, and the cost of failure to learn and prepare.

Colors were raised by a contingent of the Pennsylvania Bluejackets US Naval Sea Cadets, followed by an opening prayer by Chaplain Jeff Simmers of the Waynesboro Fire Department.

Chairman Stewart McCleaf

Chairman Stewart McCleaf of the townhip supervisors spoke about the terrible losses on 9/11 and the need to remember. He commented that our 9/11 Tribute is somewhat unique with artifacts from all three attack sites. He also celebrated the resilience of the American people, observing the heroic acts of the passengers of Flight 93 which crashed in a field in Shanksville, PA, saved the lives of thousands more by fighting back on the plane. He thanked all the police and fire fighting people present, and our military, all of whom to this day will run to trouble wherever that might be.

Township Officer Terry Dewitt

Washington Township Officer Terry Dewitt offered comments for the fallen. He reflected that nearly 3000 died on the day of the attacks, many more have died since of complications resulting from the smoke, soot and hazardous materials while desperately searching for survivors. He suggested, however, that we should not dwell on their deaths, but on their wonderful lives of service to their communities.

Officer Dewitt then led members of the Washington Township Police Department, Blue Ridge Summit Fire and Rescue and the Waynesboro Fire Department in the laying of a wreath at the entrance to the 9/11 Tribute.

Honor Guard laying the wreath
Honor Guard during a moment of silence

After a moment of silence, the cadets retired the colors while taps played in the background. Chaplain Simmers offered a closing prayer. Those attending remained for a short period to visit with friends and share memories before dispersing to their homes.

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