Erie County has been bestowed a special honor, by being selected as 1 of 60 communities throughout the US to participate in a new National 9/11 Day of Remembrance Project.
On Saturday, September 11, 2021, a special ceremony will be held at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, starting at 8:30 AM. The ceremony will memorialize those who lost their lives on September 11, by reading off the names of the men, women, and children that lost their lives on that fateful day. Each one of the 60 communities will read off 50 of the 2,977 names. Locally, an additional 29 names will be read, to pay respects and honor those with connections to WNY, as well as the names of the local first responders who selflessly gave their lives upon responding to the Ground Zero attack.
The National 9/11 Day of Remembrance Project ceremony is being hosted by the Erie County Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (“RSVP”), the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, the Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the WNY Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial, and Explore & More – The Ralph C Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum.
“Western New Yorkers played a significant role in the response to 9/11, both as first responder volunteers and as National Guard members deployed to Ground Zero,” said Daniel Neaverth, Jr., Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. “This event provides us an opportunity to honor their service and remember those who lost their lives that day.”
“The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park’s mission to honor, educate, inspire, and preserve is reflected in our commitment to remembering 9/11,” said Paul Marzello, President & CEO of the Naval Park. “The role this event played in our country’s military history over the past 20 years cannot be overstated, and we are honored to be able to be part of ensuring that Western New York never forgets these tragic events.”
The ceremony will take place rain or shine.
Additionally, the Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial Committee will read the names of the Western New Yorkers who died in the ensuing War on Terror. Community members are invited to submit names they would like to be remembered by visiting the Naval Park website.
Activities commence with the national anthem sung by Buffalo’s Singing Cops, Officers Moe Badger and Michael Norwood Jr., with additional music provided by the Greater Buffalo Firefighters Pipes and Drums and the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band. Color Guards from the Buffalo Fire Department, Buffalo Police Department, and United States Coast Guard Sector Buffalo will raise the 9/11 Flag of Honor. The Edward M. Cotter fireboat will provide a tribute marking the event.
The memorial ceremony will kick off a day of events at the Naval Park dedicated to 9/11. The 9/11 Day of Service, sponsored by the RSVP program, will include a food drive for FeedMore of WNY from 8:00-4:00 and a blood drive for the American Red Cross from 11:30-3:30. Donors can register for the blood drive by visiting the Red Cross website and nonperishable food items can be brought to the Naval Park gift shop. From 11:00-3:00, families can visit the free Honk for Heroes family event that will showcase military, law enforcement, and first responder vehicles, aircraft, and personnel. Additionally, admission to both the Naval Park and Explore & More will be pay-what-you-can on that day thanks to Geico and Bank of America.