Aston Commemorates 9-11
By Loretta Rodgers
Hundreds of Aston residents gathered Friday evening at the Township Memorial Gardens with local and state officials, boy and girl scout troops, American Legion Post #926, and police and emergency personnel to honor those who lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Mistress of ceremonies, Girl Scout Rachael McCullough, introduced speakers who included Bill Dondero representing the office of U.S. Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-7), Pa. State Representative Leanne Kruegar-Braneky (D-161), and Aston Commissioner Mike Higgins.
Sun Valley High School student Gianni Palmarini sang the National Anthem and God Bless America, and Pastor Michael Wilps of the New Liberty Baptist Church offered the opening and closing prayers.
“This is a day we should never forget,” said Wilps. “I remember the day after the attacks, and the day after that, and the day after that when the churches were full. American flags were everywhere. We were not Democrats and Republicans – we were Americans in mourning.”
A red, white and blue wreath was laid at the memorial site, the Sun Valley High School JRROTC cadets served as color guard, and and the Aston Township Fire Department proudly displayed a flag bridge across Concord Road.
Higgins spoke of the September 11 terrorist attacks and presented a chronological outline of the events as they unfolded.
“We can never forget what happened,” Higgins said. “We can never let our elected leaders in Washington forget the facts of 9-11, so it never happens again. Our intelligence agencies need the funding and resources to be able to uncover any terrorist plot against the United States and our citizens. Likewise, our military needs to remain strong in both numbers and resources to fight off terrorists both home and abroad. We as citizens need to be vigilant and not be afraid to report suspicious activity, not only in Aston, but everywhere we go.”
Kruegar-Braneky said 14 years ago the course of history changed when men seeking violence against the United States used passenger planes against us, adding that she is sure the adults present remembered where they were when they heard the news of the attacks.
“The attacks on Sept. 11 killed nearly 3,000 people , but something that we often do not talk about is that they came from 93 different nations,” Kreugar-Braneky said. Many communities around the globe were also touched by the attacks and what I remember vividly is the outpouring of support from other countries. There were headiness that read ‘We are all Americans’. Community matters and we are stronger together.”
Maryann Bulllen, member of the board of directors of the Memorial Gardens, expressed appreciation to township resident Barry Pinkowicz for organizing the 9-11 memorial event.
“I will never forget Sept. 11, 2001 and watching as the two planes crashed into the twin towers as I held my husband, a Vietnam veteran, who passed away the next day,” Bullen said. “I am proud and honored to have three gentlemen on our board, Vietnam veterans Jim Graham and Wayne Callaway, and and Eric Delellis who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and is still serving. God Bless America.”
Aston Township Memorial Garden – Friday, 9/11/2015