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Remembering the patriots

Pocono Record - 9/11/2017

Sept. 11--TANNERSVILLE -- Veterans and residents alike gathered at the Tannersville war memorial on Route 611 on Saturday to pay homage to first responders and victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The ceremony was held in order to celebrate Patriot Day, an annual observance, typically held on 9/11 to honor the victims and first responders who gave their lives that day.

"The purpose of it is honoring all of those that died that day," said Tom Bowditch, Army veteran. "We have to remember all of those who have died, especially in 9/11."

American Legion Post 903 and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) chapter 132 held the event to pay respect and to help raise funds to repair the memorial and purchase a handicap van. In addition to being an Army veteran, Bowditch is also the commander of the legion post.

Bowditch, who served as a police chief for 30 years, knows the kind of struggles that first responders have to face on a daily basis. Something he enjoys about Patriot Day is that the group receiving the recognition often has a thankless job.

"You're almost shocked when someone actually does come up and thanks you," Bowditch said. "But there is a lot of good people out there and they're thankful."

The event lasted from about 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. and featured food, raffles and live entertainment. Around 2 p.m., the DAV, American Legion members and the Monroe County Honor Guard held a special ceremony in honor of those who lost their lives 16 years ago.

In addition to singing the national anthem and playing taps, the honor guard also paid tribute with a three-volley salute.

For Matt D'Angelo, DAV chapter 132 commander, the event was a good opportunity to not only raise money, but reconnect with fellows veterans and supporters in the community.

"It's cool to see everybody working together, its camaraderie," D'Angelo said. "Not just the veterans themselves but everyone that comes out to support us."

According to D'Angelo, the DAV has been working on getting a van to help disabled veterans in the area for the past few years. He added that in Monroe County alone there was 45,000 veterans and the van would be incredibly helpful for them.

"It's got an elevator, a lift, it's decked out and its approved by the DAV," D'Angelo said. "The closest van right now is in Wilkes-Barre and it's just too far away a lot of times."

D'Angelo added that the DAV chapter 132 meets every third Saturday at the Pioneer Diner in Mount Pocono and that anybody interested in joining is welcome to attend.

Larry Holmes, former WBC heavyweight champion, had been scheduled to perform with his band but did not attend the event for unknown reasons.


(c)2017 the Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa.

Visit the Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa. at http://www.poconorecord.com/

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