SOUTHINGTON — This year’s 9/11 remembrance ceremony at the town’s memorial site will feature a new flagpole and American flag.
The service will be held next Tuesday at 8:46 a.m. at the memorial on the corner of Summer and West Main streets in Plantsville. The Town Council chairman, American Legion, Knights of Columbus and fire and police officials are expected to attend and make remarks.
The 9/11 memorial features two stones dedicated to the victims of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when terrorists hijacked four planes with the goal of crashing them into prominent buildings. The memorial also honors the emergency personnel “who gave their lives while aiding their fellow man.” The stone tablets were donated by Mathieu Memorials in 2003.
Retired town fire Capt. David Mikosz reached out to Mike Del Santo, a friend and chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, in April about also adding a permanent flagpole to the memorial.
“I think it’s pretty important that the stone(s) should have the American flag flying over it,” Mikosz said. “You figure 343 firefighters lost their lives that day, along with a couple thousand other (people).”
Mikosz said he and fellow retired fire captain Peter Kurtz have been participating in the honor guard for the ceremony for about four years and normally someone will hold the flag during the ceremony.
Del Santo had to go through a few hoops to get the flagpole approved, but was proud to do it and found no objections to the plan. The Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments and the PZC all had a hand in making the flagpole happen.
“I can’t believe how people come out when you need help with something like this,” Del Santo said. “All town staff has been nothing but wonderful...They all agree this is such wonderful thing to do...”
The flagpole was installed a few weeks ago by the public works department. The pole was donated by the KBE Building Corporation, which Del Santo said has a campaign called 50 Ways to Make a Difference to help with civic projects like this one. The flag was donated by the American Legion.
The U.S. flag will be installed before next week’s 9/11 remembrance ceremony, but not before solar lights are added to the site so that the flag is always visible.