A day to be remembered, the events of Sept. 11, 2001, changed American history and our global perspective,” explained Commander Charles Morgan of American Legion Post 171 in Crystal Lake. “In memory of those who lost lives and those whose lives were tragically affected, the Legion and City of Crystal Lake will present a commemoration on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 at Union Cemetery.”
Morgan noted that it is fitting the 20th anniversary of 9/11 fell on Patriot Day. Bringing together survivors, first responders, civilians and community leaders for a day of remembrance was a collaboration between Post 171 and the City of Crystal Lake.
Keynote speaker Ryan Yantis, Lt. Col., US Army, (ret.) shared his personal experience as a 9/11 Pentagon survivor. The Crystal Lake resident expressed his passion for participating, “I am honored to be asked to help people in Crystal Lake to remember what happened 20 years ago. We pulled together on 9/11, and the days that followed as a community and, as a nation.”
The sacrifices and contributions of first responders were recognized. Area ministers provided supportive introspection and offered prayers.
The 20th anniversary commemoration and Patriot Day started at noon, in the Union Cemetery on Woodstock Street in Crystal Lake. “Everyone is invited to join in the experience,” encouraged Morgan. “We hope many students and young people, for whom this is more history than a memory, will attend.”
Post 171 displayed American flags to represent those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in the days following. Sections for civilians, first responders and military were recognized. Mayor Haig Haleblian placed a wreath in tribute to the victims. Also in attendance was Operation Wild Horse, a rifle salute and bagpipe performance. The national anthem was sung a cappella by Dana Robertson.
American Legion Post 171 is named for Lt. William Chandler Peterson, a Crystal Lake native who was killed in action during World War I. The post was chartered in September 1919 and has been active in the community by providingsupport and outreach to veterans and their families, funding scholarships and library programs, hosting Memorial Day and honoring veterans and active military.
More information on American Legion Post 171 and this event can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanLegionCrystalLake