GEORGETOWN – On Sept. 11, 20 years will have passed since the terrorist attacks on America.
Numerous events are planned in observance of that 9/11 milestone.
At the CHEER Community Center in Georgetown, it’s the return of Patriots Day, a remembrance featuring a car show, police and fire vehicles, a 9/11 display, testimonials from those who experienced the attacks, a memory bell, singing and, weather permitting, a ceremonial formation flyover.
Open to the public, the event is hosted by the Georgetown CHEER Center and County Seat Cruisers, spearheaded by Levin Clark.
The motto for the event is: “We will never forget.”
This will be the seventh Patriot Day remembrance staged in Georgetown. There was no event held last year due to the COVID pandemic.
“This will be the biggest one, so far,” said Mr. Clark.
The event on the grounds of the Georgetown CHEER Community Center on Sand Hill Road will commence around 4 p.m. with the program and speakers scheduled to begin at around 5 p.m.
Anticipated guests include State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, State Sen. Dave Wilson, State Sen. Gerald Hocker, State Rep. Ruth Briggs King, Georgetown Mayor Bill West, Georgetown Police Chief R.L. Hughes, Delaware National Guard Maj. Gen. Michael Berry, Sussex County Councilman Mark Schaeffer, Delaware Treasurer Colleen Davis, Korean War veteran Walter Koopman, CHEER Executive Director Ken Bock, former Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and several other dignitaries.
Retired Col. Ron Covais, who saw active U.S. Air Force duty in Iraq more than three decades ago, is scheduled to lead the flyby. It may feature Mr. Covais’ special commemorative airplane that he has spent two years bringing back to flying mode. That plane, named Wee Willie, “remembers B-17 crews that were shot down in World War II,” Mr. Covais said.
“If I have it back by then – it is being painted – I will lead the formation. Behind me will be another liaison airplane painted in U.S. Army colors. That is the plan right now,” said Mr. Covais, who is active with the Delaware Aviation Museum.
Several 9/11 testimonials are planned, including Mr. Covais, whose office was two blocks away from the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 aircraft, struck the western facade of the U.S. military nerve cell near Washington.
The Patriots Day itinerary includes Dover Pipes and Drums bagpipe band, the national anthem, Bayside Four barbershop quartet and the reading of the Fireman’s Prayer and Policeman’s Prayer.
An area will be reserved for those with 9/11 memories to ring a bell in remembrance and in honor of loved ones.
Inside the CHEER Community Center, Mr. Koopman will showcase his extensive 9/11 memorial display.
In addition, three American flags with special significance will be on special display. One of the flags has flown over all three 9/11 locations (New York City, Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania), another over the USS Arizona and another was flown during the U.S. conflict in Iraq.
Talk radio personality Dan Gaffney will serve as master of ceremonies.
Trophies for categories in the car, bike and truck show are sponsored by Deihm Disposal. Two hundred dash plaques are sponsored through an anonymous donation.
All-American food – hot dogs, hamburgers and apple pie – will be for sale. Commemorative T-shirts will also be sold.
Donations are welcome and proceeds from sales will support a Patriots Day initiative coined the Fire and Police League.