Newark Patriot Day 2019

The City of Newark, home town of one victim of the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks (Matthew Flocco, US Navy), honored all of the lives taken on that day, and paid tribute to military members and first responders.

Then, on Patriot Day, some in attendance went to work serving their community.

Several Trees of Freedom transplanted from New York City, The Pentagon near Washington DC and Shanksville Pennsylvania serve as permanent reminders of the dark day in history at Newark's Olan Thomas Park, where the ceremony was held. 

"It's right for us to pause and remember those that sacrificed their life that day doing what was expected of them to do," Newark Mayor Jerry Clifton said.

 Lieutenant Colonel John Groth, US Air Force (ret.), was chaplain at Dover Air Force Base at the time. While he talked about several miracles that day - missed flights, people late for work, canceled meetings - "as a Christian minister I hate to this, but miracles are often soon forgotten."

"We're not gathered here today because of miracles. We're gathered here today because of pain and because of sorrow," Groth added.

Some in the audience were local students who were very young, or not even born, when the attacks happened.

"I do worry that this becomes more of a history book lesson, instead of a real life lesson," University of Delaware Executive Vice President John Long (USAF Colonel, ret.) said. Long was working at The Pentagon at the time of theattacks.

"I don't think we should ever forget about it," Long added. "It did fundamentally change the United States. For the first time since World War II, I think we realized we were vulnerable."    

Amanda Monachelli of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania said she was two or three years old at the time. She now attends the University of Delaware.

Monachelli said she had faint memories of her father being at work and her mother receiving numerous phone calls. It was in elementary school when she started to become fully aware of the events of September 11th and their significance to American history.

After the ceremony, Monachelli set out in the park to spend some time picking up trash.

"It just means that I'm doing my part, and not taking anything for granted."