Members of the Marrs-Meyer American Legion Post 991 and Burbank Marine Corps League color guards took turns standing guard during a September 11 Remembrance Day event Monday morning at the Worth Memorial Monument.  (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Members of the Marrs-Meyer American Legion Post 991 and Burbank Marine Corps League color guards took turns standing guard during a September 11 Remembrance Day event Monday morning at the Worth Memorial Monument.  (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Worth veterans, students remember September 11 tragedy 

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reporter worthwoods photo 9 14

Worth Mayor Mary Werner holds a poster presented to her at the Patriots Day event Monday morning at Worthwoods School. Werner is joined on her left by Village Clerk Bonnie Price. Some of the other officials on hand were Ashley Toms (second from left), principal at Worthwoods; Officer Michael Cozzi, who is holding therapy/comfort dog, Louie; and (far right) Police Chief Tim Denton.  

By Joe Boyle 

A steady downpour did not deter the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony in Worth Monday morning.

“It did the same thing last year,” said Worth Trustee Brad Urban, who is also a member of the Marrs-Meyer American Legion Post 991. “It was even raining harder.”

However, members of the post and the Burbank Marine Corps League color guards defied the constant drizzle to take part in the ceremony, the 22nd year since the 9/11 attacks took place on American soil on Sept. 11, 2001.

Color guard veterans stood guard in front of the eternal flame of the Worth Memorial at 111th and Harlem beginning at 7:45 a.m. The veterans would stand guard for 10 minutes and then be replaced by another shift.

reporter bell photo 9 14

A member of the Burbank Marine Corps League Color Guard stands at attention during a 9/11 Remembrance Day ceremony Monday morning at the Worth Memorial Monument. He rang the bell at the exact times the U.S. was attacked 22 years ago. Despite a steady rain, the veterans continued to stand guard throughout the ceremony.  

One of the members would ring the bell marking the exact times when the attacks occurred. The first attack occurred as American Airlines Flight 11, carrying 81 passengers and 11 crew members, crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

The second attack occurred at 8:03 a.m. CST as United Airlines Flight 175, carrying 56 passengers and nine crew members, crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

The third attack occurred at 8:37 a.m. CST as American Airlines Flight 77, carrying 58 passengers and six crew members, crashed into the Pentagon.

And at 9:03 a.m. CST, United Airlines Flight 93, carrying 37 passengers and seven crew members, crashed 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Shanksville, Pa.

The last bell was rung at 9:30 a.m. during the ceremony to mark the collapse of the north tower of the World Trade Center. The south tower would also collapse not much later. In all, 2,997 people died during these attacks 22 years ago.

“We have done this every year since 9/11,” Urban said.

Members of both color guards said it was important to acknowledge what happened that day so that no one forgets. It is equally important to inform students and younger adults who were not even born at the time to learn about what happened, the veterans said.

The ceremony at the Worth Memorial Monument was one of a series of events marking 9/11 that occurred in the village Monday morning. Local officials, first responders, and community and Scout leaders visited Worth Junior High School and Worth Elementary School for separate ceremonies, remembering those who perished that day.

The last ceremony took place at Worthwoods Elementary School, 11001 S. Oketo Ave. Like the other two schools, ceremonies took place inside the school because of the weather.

Fifth-grade students recited readings and poems in honor of the first responders and also referred to the local heroes in Worth. The students presented “thank you” cards to Police Chief Tim Denton, Marrs-Meyer American Legion Post 991 member Steve Werner, Village Clerk Bonnie Price and other local officials.

One of those officials was Mayor Mary Werner, who was ecstatic when she received a large poster featuring images of the Village of Worth.

Resource officer Michael Cozzi was also honored. Cozzi was also accompanied by Louie, the department’s therapy/comfort dog, who is popular among the students.

Ashley Toms, who is in her third year as principal at Worthwoods, said the annual Patriots Day Remembrance is held each year to remind students of what happened on 9/11 and to never forget.

“Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day,” Toms told the students at the assembly. “But Americans in local towns came together.”

Toms told the students that they should not forget the heroics of the firefighters who entered the burning towers and the police officers on the scene that tragic day.

And she also emphasized that the students should honor the first responders in the village and everyone who helps to make people’s lives better.

The annual event at Worthwoods that is usually held outside would have normally featured the lowering of the flag to half-staff. However, Toms believed the message got across to students.

“I’ve been here for some time,” she said. “This is a very giving community.”

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