20th-anniversary 9/11 event in Millsboro seeks support

By Glenn Rolfe
Posted 7/18/21

MILLSBORO — Sand and grub and volunteers.

Those are the pressing necessities for American Legion Auxiliary Unit 28, as it plans its huge 9/11 remembrance for Sept. 11 at the post grounds, off John J. Williams Highway, east of Millsboro.

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20th-anniversary 9/11 event in Millsboro seeks support

Posted

MILLSBORO — Sand and grub and volunteers.

Those are the pressing necessities for American Legion Auxiliary Unit 28, as it plans its huge 9/11 remembrance for Sept. 11 at the post grounds, off John J. Williams Highway, east of Millsboro.

The outdoor event will feature close to 3,000 sand-weighted bags, each containing a battery-powered tealight and bearing the name of a person who perished in the terrorist attacks 20 years ago.

The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. and carry on past dusk, with more than 2,900 bags providing illumination that will fill the grounds near the pavilion.

Tina Washington, Unit 28’s public relations chairwoman, emphasized that this is not a celebration but a solemn observance.

“We are remembering. We are doing a remembrance,” she said.

Unveiled this past spring, the massive project has gathered momentum.

“The support has been amazing,” said Beth McGinn, auxiliary historian.

Generous donations have covered the purchase of the nearly 3,000 bags and tealights.

“All of the names were not listed for the exact number that perished, but the names that we could find came to 2,900-plus,” Ms. Washington said.

Organizers said there remains a need for donations of sand to weigh down the bags and for food, possibly through a vendor, for the event’s volunteers that day.

“We’re getting donations,” said Ms. Washington. “The two main (things) we need is sand and food.”

For the volunteers, the project on Sept. 11 will begin about noon.

“We’ll have it all laid out,” Ms. Washington said. “We just need help putting sand in bags and setting bags out in the field. We are asking the community to volunteer. We have gotten some organizations that are volunteering that day, but the more we have, the merrier. The more we have, the quicker we’ll be able to get everything set out.”

The program is scheduled to begin with a repertoire by Conley’s United Methodist Church. Greg Fuller, director of Home of the Brave and a Post 28 member, will sing the national anthem.

Starting around 7, the program will continue with motorcycle groups, the Post 28 Honor Guard and Colorettes, a POW/MIA remembrance, the Delaware State Police Pipes and Drums unit, a speech by 2021 American Legion oratorical winner Dorothy McCormick, a flag-folding demonstration, the presentation of a 9/11 Freedom Flag and an address by Ms. Washington.

The candle ceremony will follow, and Judy Mangini of Judy Sings the Blues will lead the crowd in “God Bless America.”

The remembrance will end with taps, offered by the post’s Honor Guard.

“It seems like a lot. It’s probably an hour or so,” said Ms. Washington. “But we think it’s something that we really want and need to do.”

Ms. McGinn added, “I like it because so many people have come together. We have these coupon ladies, … and they have been putting all the (name) labels on the bags, pulling the little tab on the light. I like that part, that everybody is involved.”

Ms. Washington said, that with about two months to go, “We want people to really start to get energized.”

Any individual, business or organization interested in volunteering or donating to the event can contact Ms. Washington at 858-8399 or Ms. McGinn at 381-3897.