Because of restrictions placed on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many area events have been canceled or have taken place virtually.
But Oak Orchard-Riverdale American Post 28 members believe strongly in honoring victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and decided to have their annual candlelight ceremony. “It's one day that can never be forgotten,” said Beth McGinn, emcee and Post 28 Auxiliary Poppy Day chairwoman.
Featured speaker, 17-year-old Dorothy McCormick, said in tough times, Americans come together as a family. That spirit spread after the Sept. 11 attacks and has resurfaced during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Now more than ever, we need the American spirit. If America can unite through the ashes and fear of Sept. 11, we can unite six feet apart,” McCormick said.
McCormick is a 2020 Delaware American Legion oratorical contest winner.
The ceremony, held as the sun set over the Post 28 outdoor pavilion, included the Post 28 Honor Guard and the Delaware State Police Pipes and Drums unit. Taking part in the ceremony were Auxiliary Unit 28 member Margaret Hopkins, opening prayer; Unit 28 junior member Makenzie Mood, Pledge of Allegiance; Legion officer and Home of the Brave director Greg Fuller, national anthem; Post 28 Past Commander Lee Glasco and Unit 28 Auxiliary Vice President June Jones, POW/MIA remembrance ceremony; Auxiliary Department President Debbie Guenther and Unit 28 junior members Riley and Skyler Schmidt, presentation of the 9/11 Freedom Flag; and Judy Mangini, “God Bless America.”