Salisbury Lions Club Announces 9/11 Ceremony | Local News

SALISBURY – Starting this week, volunteers will place nearly 3,000 flags around Salisbury Town Common in preparation for the annual 9/11 Remembrance Day.

Hosted by the Salisbury Lions Club, the ceremony will begin at 9am that day.

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11, which led AJ Pappas, Michael Roberge and other Salisbury Lions to find a way to honor the dead. Roberge came up with the idea of ​​placing a flag in honor of each life lost, and Pappas took over the coordination of the event.

“Myself, my wife and other Lions got together to think about what we could do, and that’s when Michael Roberge came up with the idea for the flags,” Pappas said. “From there it was just a matter of how to do that.”

The event went well enough last year that they decided to make it an annual ceremony. Nearly 3,000 flags will be placed around the Town Common next week, where they will remain until a few days after the ceremony.

Parks and Recreation Administrator Jennifer Roketenetz worked with the Lions Club to organize the inaugural event and is helping again this year, and can’t help but get emotional thinking about the exhibit.

“These are really big flags, not the dollar store kind, they’re definitely a good size, and there’s just something when you see the visual, it just hits the feel,” Roketenetz said. “And it’s always good to see the community get involved.”

For Pappas, like many others, the events of September 11 hit hard. His wife lost her aunt, Laurie Neira, as he witnessed the tragedy from the roof of her New York home.

“My wife and I avoided anything that had to do with it for 19 years, until the 20th anniversary came around and we as a group decided we had to do something,” Pappas said.

The ceremony will feature a few speakers, including Pappas and his family.

“Myself, my wife and my daughter will sing a little song,” Pappas said.

Pappas knows not everyone will be flooding the streets for the day, but said it was important for the number of people it affects who feel they need it.

“Just knowing it’s in our town might sound silly, but growing up here it’s important that our little town has something like that, it makes me really happy,” Pappas said.

The areas of the commune will be sectioned to correspond to the areas affected by the terrorist attack.

Charles P. Patton