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9/11 Parade of Heroes set for Saturday

September 6, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library in Cape Coral is giving residents across the region an opportunity to pay their respects to those who lost their life on one of the darkest days in America's history.

The fourth annual 9/11 Parade for Heroes (cancelled do to Hurricane Irma last year) is a tribute to those who died in New York City when the Twin Towers crumbled onto busy Manhattan streets after being struck by two hijacked planes, those who perished at the Pentagon and those who fought off terrorists and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.

This year marks the 17th anniversary of that tragic morning.

Article Photos

"9/11 is a very important time of remembrance," said Missi Lastra, director of operations at the SWFL Military Museum and Library.

On Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m., a myriad of law enforcement and military groups, including their impressive vehicles, will travel down Cape Coral Parkway from Cape Coral Street to the museum itself on Leonard Street.

Groups represented will include the Cape Coral Police Department, Ida Baker Color Guard, Guns n' Hoses, Knights of Columbus, Vietnam Vets, Boy Scouts, and many more.

Following the parade, there will be an open house at the museum where a $7 lunch and entertainment will be provided.

"The parade is to honor all heroes," Lastra said. "Military, law enforcement, medical heroes, fire heroes. We're here to honor all of our responders to that tragic day in time."

The SWFL Military Museum and Library has an array of 9/11 memorabilia and dedications.

The display is presented in the museum's "Hall of Honor" and includes the uniform a New Jersey fire fighter who responded to Ground Zero that day and remained working at the site for several months. Also on display is steel and masonry pieces from the Twin Towers, a camera found at Ground Zero and flags that were flown over the site.

"It's so important to us that these items are in our Hall of Honor," said Lastra. "It's a very prestigious display. Almost everything is donated by local residents, first responders and military personnel."

An attractive aspect of the museum is how interactive it can be, with many items and artifacts not behind glass, but up close and personal.

"We can never forget 9/11," added Lastra. "We cannot forget those who worked tirelessly, for months, trying to do their best."

For most people who are old enough to remember, 9/11 is a memory likely to stick forever.

"I'll never forget where I was, what I was doing, and how it made me feel," she said.

The Parade of Heroes is intended to show appreciation to those who died that day, along with the first responders who walked into those engulfed skyscrapers to save lives.

"This is a great family event," said Lastra. "You can see a little bit of our history. This is a great exhibition of all those heroes that day."

The SWFL Military Museum and Library is at 4820 Leonard Street.

For more information about the SWFL Military Museum and Library, as well as the parade, visit www.SWFLMM.org, or call 239-541-8704.

- Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj

 
 

 

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