From VFW "Rocket” Post Commander: Patriot Day, September 11, 2020
Greetings my fellow Comrades.
I want to take a moment to share some thoughts on this year’s remembrance of Patriot Day. September 11, 2001 is a day that forever changed our way of life in America. This is the day that the realities of war against terrorism were brought home, literally, to us as a nation as we watched the events of that day unfold on our television screens. I’m sure most, if not all of you, can remember where you were or what you were doing that morning. I know that like many, as I watched the horrors of those attacks take place, life as we knew it had been changed forever. The images of the planes flying into the World Trade Center, the aftermath of the plane hitting the Pentagon, or Flight 93 going down in Pennsylvania, will always be in our memories.
The loss of life on that day was tragic, but out of that tragedy, we saw true heroes emerge. From first responders rushing into chaos, to average citizens doing extraordinary things to help their fellow Americans. So, how do we observe this special day?
On the direction of the President, the flag of the United States of America should be displayed on the homes of Americans, the White House and all United States government buildings in the whole world. The flag should be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect to those who died on September 11, 2001. Many people observe a moment of silence at 8:46 AM (Eastern Daylight Time). This marks the time that the first plane flew into the World Trade Center. Some communities, particularly in the areas directly affected by the attacks, hold special church services or prayer meetings. People who personally experienced the events in 2001 or lost loved ones in them, may lay flowers or visit memorials.
This day is not a federal holiday. Schools and businesses are not closed. Public transit systems run on their regular schedules. Some organizations and individuals may take some time out to pray and remember the victims of that day as well as their families, but this usually doesn’t affect public life for more than a few minutes. So, as veterans who have served our country in times of war, I know that each of you understand and respect the importance of remembering this day. Fly your flags and if you can, place them at half-mast as a sign of respect for the loss of our fellow Patriots. The war that this day initiated continues, so we also honor those who continue to serve in harms’ way to protect our way of life.
God Bless each of you and our great nation.
Mark R. Kelley, Commander
VFW "Rocket” Post 4534