Brandywine remembers Sept. 11


The rain may have drenched the grounds but it didn’t dampen
the spirits of the Brandywine Battlefield Park Associates as members geared up
for a Remembrance Reception at the park Friday night.

 “It was a heartbreaking decision whether to cancel or to
continue,” said associates’ President Linda Kaat, “but we said we had to honor
Brandywine tonight, rain or shine. … We’re going to deal with this torrential
rain. I know Cornwallis would never have crossed the Brandywine today.”

Hundreds of guests, including state Rep. Chris Ross, R-158,
of East Marlborough Township, gathered under a tent to pay their respects to
the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks and to those who fell during
the Sept. 11, 1777 Battle of Brandywine.

Included in the ceremony was a Remembrance Bell that was
driven in from New York City earlier in the day, a bell that had been used in
ceremonies there.

During Friday night’s ceremony, Eagle Scouts from Troop 31
rang that bell in honor of those who died on Flight 93, the flight that crashed
into the field at Shanksville killing all those on board.

“When you look at that ground zero bell,” Kaat said, “you
can not regret [being here.]”

Ross also noted the dual symbolism of the day, but paid
tribute to the associates for its efforts in getting the park reopened after
the state withdrew funding for the operation.

“This is a special place, a special area. This community has
stood by the history of this place for many, many years and it’s been a strong
tradition for the community,” Ross said.

He called the park a “unique teaching opportunity” for
youngsters to learn about the Battle of Brandywine and colonial life in
general.

“That is absolutely critical for us to be a successful
community, successful state and a successful nation, to be properly in touch
with our history.” Ross said.

The Remembrance Bells Project was the idea of Brother David
from the Franciscan Center of Wilmington. He said he got the idea while
attending the wake for Fr. Michael Judge, the New York Fire Department chaplain
who was killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

He said the idea was first to remember the firefighters who
were killed, but that blossomed into remembering everyone, Brother David said.

There are four September 11 Bells while the bells of
Remembrance Project has a total of 17 bells.

Also during the ceremony, Cub Scouts read the poem “We
Remember Them,” in honor of those who died in 2001, and members of the
Brandywine Baptist Church Choir sang “God Save the King” and the “Star Spangled
Banner” in honor of those who fell during the Battle of Brandywine.

ChaddsFordLive.com was a corporate sponsor of the event.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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