Local 9/11 memorial park hosts 20th anniversary ceremony

Local News

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Patriot Day is being honored across the country today.

A local 9/11 memorial park held its annual ceremony Saturday morning, remembering the 20th anniversary of that day.

People from across the Valley will gathered in Austintown at 9 a.m. to remember the events that happened on 9/11.

Community members finished preparing the 9/11 Memorial Park in Austintown Friday for the event.

Local fire and police departments, as well as members of the National Guard, attended the ceremony.

Austintown Fitch’s Concert Choir and the Greater Cleveland Pipes and Drums performed patriotic songs during the ceremony. 

Students from Austintown School walked through the park Friday, which helped them to learn about a piece of American history they weren’t even alive yet to experience.

“These kids here at the high school and middle school are awesome. They want to learn. You just have to give them something, you know? It’s not that they don’t want to learn,” said Sam Swoger, the 9/11 park committee chair.

This 9/11 memorial park has multiple pieces of history around the park grounds.

Paths in the park take visitors to beams from the World Trade Center. There are also building stones from the Pentagon and an urn filled with dirt from Flight 93’s crash site. 

Visitors also saw memorials to first responders, as well as a small chapel.

The idea for this park came from Patrick Connolly, who died last year. Organizers will also be honoring him in their ceremony.

“Not even a year after it happened, he started thinking about doing this. The township so greatly donated this piece of property to us for it. But everything you see here, he pinpointed everything,” Swoger said.

There’s a street sign honoring Pat at the park entrance. He was a great help in getting this park to where it is today.

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