The gathering, orchestrated by local Korean War veteran Gene Corsale, marks the fourth annual Remembrance Day event in Saratoga Springs, and will feature several speakers and a wreath dedication ceremony.
The first wreath will be presented by Sergeant James Smith Jr., a United States Marine Corp World War II veteran and First Sergeant Robert Garland, a 23-year retired veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
“The first wreath honors the 3,000 innocent souls who perished on 9/11, and all the troops who made the supreme sacrifice in the ensuing wars on terror,” said Corsale. “This is the ‘Never Forget’ wreath.”
The second wreath, honoring the 343 firemen who perished during the Trade Center attack, will be presented by Fire Chief Robert Williams and Assistant Fire Chief Peter Shaw, and the third wreath, which will be presented by Police Chief Christopher Cole and Captain Michael Chowske, is dedicated to the 60 valiant police personnel and other first responders who died on 9/11 serving their community.
The three wreaths will be placed at the Global War on Terror plaque monument, one of very few such monuments in the country.
“Nobody’s got anything like that in the area, almost in the country,” said Corsale. “We are very lucky to have it here.”
The event’s main speaker will be Saratoga County Veterans Service Agency Director Andrew Davis. A Bronze Star recipient and combat veteran, Davis’ connection to the ceremony go beyond his role with the county.
“I was one of the first troops in Afghanistan after 9/11 and was one of the first troops alerted after 9/11,” said Davis. “I did two tours in Afghanistan, one in Iraq, and I know a lot of folks still serving in Afghanistan.”
Davis’ experience as a combat veteran gives him a unique perspective, and he hopes that sharing his story with the community can keep the sacrifices that he, and so many others made, remain meaningful.
“One of the greatest tragedies, if not THE greatest tragedy, in American history happened only 11 years ago- we don’t won’t to forget it yet, hopefully never,” said Davis. “I think it’s important that we take some time to remember the folks that gave so much on that day- whether it is the first responders or the men and women who have fought in Afghanistan for during the 11 years since. If small towns and cities like Saratoga Springs can take an hour to remember that once a year, I think that goes a long ways.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at the Congress Park war memorial at 10 a.m., Sunday, September 9; it will last about an hour, and guests are advised to bring lawn chairs for seating.
In the event of rain, the ceremony will take place the following Sunday, September 16, at noon.