9/11 memorial events planned

Published 8:12 am Wednesday, September 9, 2009

FRANKLIN—In the eight years that have passed, the memory of 9/11 seems to be fading among some Americans, but members of the Woodmen of the World Holly Lodge 18 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4411 are working to keep the legacy of the victims and heroes of that day alive.

“Some people have lost that meaning and we want to keep it alive because it was very devastating to our country,” said Bill Witt, president of Holly Lodge 18.

The lodge will hold a community ceremony, titled In Honor and Remembrance — Woodmen of the World Salutes America’s Heroes, at

1 p.m. on Friday at the Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Branch of the Blackwater Regional Library in Franklin.

The goal of the ceremony is to honor the heroes and victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as well as hometown heroes like police officers, firefighters and members of the armed forces, according to Witt.

The ceremony will feature a speaker, and the group will donate an American flag. The flag will then be raised and then lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of 9/11.

“We’ve been doing it all over the city since 2002,” Witt said of the flag-raising ceremony. The lodge has previously held the ceremony at Franklin High School, the Hunterdale Fire Station and Southview Cemetery among other locations.

Woodmen of the World is a fraternal benefit organization founded in 1890 with more than 800,000 current members. Since 2002, thousands of 9/11 memorial ceremonies have been sponsored by Woodmen of the World lodges nationwide.

At 7 p.m. Friday, the VFW Post 4411 will hold a commemoration for 9/11 and Patriot’s Day at its post house on John Beverly Rose Drive at the Franklin Municipal Airport.

The ceremony will feature guest speakers and honor firefighters and police officers, as well as members of the armed forces, according to Ed Mattucci, the post commander.

“This was our Pearl Harbor,” he said. “And we hope we never see (anything) like that again on our country.”

Both events are open to the public. For more information on the VFW commemoration, contact Ed Mattucci at 562-7697 or Duane Ashland at 642-5464.