World Trade Center traveling memorial coming to area

Authored by Jim Langham on Aug 31, 2011

The World Trade Center Memorial will be spending the 10th anniversary of 9-11 right here in the local area. The event will take place at Bearcreek Farms Resort during a 10-day patriotic extravaganza, Sept. 2-11.
The traveling memorial will be accompanied by Mike Ballone, honorary firefighter from Ladder Co. 20 New York City Fire Department, and Robert Barrett, retired firefighter also from Ladder Co. 20, who will be sharing their experiences and information with people of Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan all as part of the Midwest America Healing Field.
A healing field is a flag display set up in recognition of a particular event or group of people. Made of American flags, the Bryant field will consist of approximately 2,000 flags.
"This event will take place over the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attack on our country," commented Betsy Eischen, publicity chairperson of the local event. "What better time to reflect and honor those who protect our lives and our freedoms."
Eischen noted that the 3’ x 5’ flags will stand eight feet tall in perfect rows.
"This living display of heroism will fly as a temporary patriotic tribute to military personnel and veterans who have fought to protect our freedom in the present as well as the past along with law enforcement, firefighters, EMS and first responders," noted Eischen. "Along with the field of flags there will be various displays and demonstrations throughout the grounds. Speakers such as Guy Gruters, who was a prisoner of war for five years, will have something to do with each specialized day."
Eischen noted that all speakers would be free to the public. The only cost to anyone is if they choose to sponsor a flag in honor of a loved one or community heroes.
"You sponsor it, you own it, it flies in the field for the event and then you pick it up, take it home and continue to fly it in their honor," Eischen said.
Flag sponsorship costs $30 a flag. Other volunteer opportunities for those who wish to help with the event include putting flags together, participation in the flag installation ceremony, making ribbons, working at the information booth, helping with the flag distribution after the event and many other areas. In order to participate in any of these or other events, call 1-877-852-6102.
Officials chose the Bearcreek Farms site because it is considered to be well suited to many within a tri-state area. It is an opportunity to offer this area an event that is not political, yet patriotic, and is well suited for families.
"This event will be a celebration of our freedoms and a chance to reflect upon the sacrifices being made daily by our soldiers and first responders, protecting their freedoms," noted Eischen.
The Midwest American Healing Field float along with volunteers and committee members have traveled over 500 miles this summer covering Indiana and Western Ohio. From the first week of June and almost every weekend thereafter, participants have persevered through the scorching temperatures this summer and some of the faster paced parades and festival.
"This event is being held to show honor, love, respect and remembrance for all of those who serve or who have serviced our country and our communities by their service in the military, law enforcement, Emergency Medical Service or as a firefighter," observed Eischen.
"Not only is the event to honor but also to help educate the public what all these services do to help our communities," Eischen said. "There will be a special day designated for veterans, another for law enforcement, firefighters, National Guard, Red Cross and a special remembrance for the 9-11 victims," added Eischen.
All profits will be donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, PTSD Foundation of American and the Museum of the Soldier, located in Portland.

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