RANDOLPH, NJ- In the honor and memory of those lost on the fateful day of September 11 2001, Randolph VFW Post 7333 held their annual “Patriots Day” ceremony on the morning of Friday the 11th.
Fourteen long years have passed, but the lives of countless Americans remain forever altered by the horrific events of that day. For many of them, not a day goes by without thoughts or feelings of pain and loss.
VFW Post commander Scott Montanio led the ceremonies, and took a moment to “Offer a special salute to our first responders”, and introduced Randolph’s representatives in attendance.
Montanio then invited Senator Anthony Bucco to the podium to address the group. Bucco spoke of how everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when the attack happened.
Bucco said, “We must always remember the people who perished and the people who went in to help. Thank you to the VFW Post for having this ceremony to keep that memory alive.”
Randolph Mayor Joanne Veech spoke, and read some excerpts from President George W. Bush’s speech to the nation at 8:30 PM the evening of the attacks.
Veech quoted, “Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil acts of terror. These acts were intended to frighten our nation, but they have failed, our country is strong. Terrorists can shake the foundation of our biggest buildings, but they cannot shake the foundation of America.”
Montanio reflected on the many lost lives since that day, as well as those lost in the aftermath of the wars that followed. Montanio said, “September 11th serves as an eternal reminder that we will act to ensure that forces of evil and ignorance will never prevail, and we will never allow anyone to take away our freedom.”
Montanio concluded with, “Before we leave here today, let’s take a moment to honor the victims of that day, and also honor those who continue to selflessly protect our freedom.”
The VFW Chaplain read aloud a prayer, and was followed by Emerson Crooks who took the podium to sing God Bless America. Before singing, Crooks explained some brief background and history of the songs roots, and then invited the crowd to join him. A clip of the song is below: