Honoring American patriots
Victor Izzo/Times News Henry Desrosiers, director of Veterans Affairs for Carbon County speaks to the crowd at Friday's memorial service. Behind him are Carbon County Commissioners William O'Gurek, Charles Getz, and Wayne Nothstein.
The Carbon County Department of Veterans Affairs held a Patriots' Day (9/11) memorial service at Josiah White Park in Jim Thorpe on Friday morning.
The event was organized and coordinated by Henry Desrosiers, director of Veterans Affairs for Carbon County. He, along with Carbon County Commissioners William O'Gurek, Charles Getz, and Wayne Nothstein, spoke to the crowd during the ceremony.
Angela Nardini helped open and close the remembrance service by singing the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Desrosiers noted that 9/11 is a day that is burned in our memories like Pearl Harbor and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
"We shall never forget that 2,977 people lost their lives that day," he said.
He noted the courage and compassion of those people who rushed into burning buildings to save others; as well as those heroes who died trying to wrestle control of Flight 93 from the terrorists who had hijacked the airliner that morning. The plane crashed in a field near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania.
"Four hundred and eleven emergency service responders lost their lives at the World Trade Center that day while trying to save those targeted by terrorist attacks and hundreds more persevered under the most difficult and dangerous circumstances," Desrosiers noted. "We honor those who volunteered to keep us safe and extend the reach of freedom, not just the police, fire and EMS personnel, but also members of the Armed Forces, Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Airmen and Coast Guard who continue to perform daily acts of heroism in response to those attacks."
Over 5,690 service members have died in Iraq and Afghanistan in combat against terrorism and to protect American freedom.
O'Gurek said that "9/11 is the day that changed all of us, some more than others, but surely it brought us together and unified a patriotic country when the terrorists tried to defeat what Americans stand for - peace, freedom, tolerance, and respect for human life."
"Today is the day we remember the rescue workers who put their lives on the line every day on our behalf," Getz noted.
Nothstein thanked everyone for coming out to the remembrance, particularly one man who brought three children along with him.
"This is what it's all about, ladies and gentlemen," he said in reference to the youngsters. "It is their future that we fight for today."
On behalf of representing all first responders, Desrosiers invited Jim Thorpe Police Chief Joseph Schatz to speak at the Patriots' Day (9/11) memorial service.
Chief Schatz noted that "on Sept. 11, 2001, 72 members of the law enforcement community sacrificed their lives so that other lives may be saved."
In closing, Desrosiers noted that on Sept. 11, the American flag should be displayed outside every home and office to honor those who lost their lives and also their families, friends and loved ones.
He ended the memorial program by asking that everyone "please, fly the flag."