LELAND, N.C. (WECT) – On a day where most of America observes quiet remembrance, one community gathered by the hundreds to honor those lost on 9/11 and support the families of first responders still giving their all today.
Twenty years later, those who were at Ground Zero like NYPD Sgt. Lupé Sarracino remember it like it was yesterday.
“I was down there when the second building came down and it was chaos,” said Sarracino. “A day like this gives us hope.”
Today, Compass Pointe hosts a golf tournament in honor of the lives lost that day. To kick off the tournament, the community held a memorial ceremony, flying the American flag on a brand new flag pole. Before being hoisted into the sky, the flag flew over Ground Zero, the Pentagon and the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Amid recent events in Afghanistan, Saturday’s ceremony and the support from Compass Pointe is touching in more ways than one for the Marines that participated in the ceremony.
“Losing those 12 Marines wasn’t easy for anyone,” said Sgt. Lucas Boudreau, a Marine stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina. “Whether you knew them or not, you still know what they went through, so that was tough.”
Whether it’s a police or military uniform, they’re more than just coworkers, working in the same career field or out of the same office.
“They’re your brothers. They’re your sisters. There’s a bond there,” said Sarracino. “They become your family.”
While Sarracino and Boudreau mourn the loss of their family by choice, they’re well of the families back home mourning the loss of a father, a daughter, a sister or brother. That’s why organizers chose to support Tunnels to Towers.
“Anytime law enforcement, first responders, military get killed or injured, they provide a house and mortgage,” said Richard Hogan, a former NYFD captain that helped organize Saturday’s event. “Their family… it’s very difficult, but they don’t have to worry. If they have young especially, they will have a house and they will have the mortgage paid for.”
With Saturday’s golf tournament alone, Compass Pointe expects to raise $ 20,000 for families mourning the loss of a loved one who gave up everything so that their neighbors could live in peace and safety.
“I hope a day like today will reinforce what our country is all about,” said Tim Jacob, a former New York firefighter who responded to the attack on the Twin Towers. “We’ve had problems of late, but days like today can really bring everyone together to understand that America is great.”
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