Remembering 9/11 tribute to be held on Merritt Island


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Al Boettjer is the vice president of the Brevard County 10-13 Club.

Courtesy of the Brevard County 10-13 Club

September 11, 2001 is a day that changed America forever. Thousands of innocent lives were lost to radical terrorism, a long-term war was started in the Middle East, and the daily lives of Americans have become more scrutinized than ever with the passing of reactionary laws.

One of the most significant facets of the events of September 11 was how the New York police departments, fire departments and medical staff worked together to mitigate the disaster, many of them losing their lives in the process.

Today, we remember not only their dedication on the day of the event, but also their continued sacrifice due to breathing in asbestos particulates, concrete dust and sustained injuries during 9/11. On Sept. 11 of this year, the Brevard County 10-13 Club will host a memorial tribute event at the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center on Merritt Island.

“We’ve been (hosting) this since 9/11,” said Al Boettjer, vice president of the 10-13 Club. “This year, we teamed up with the veterans. And, the reason we did that is because the veterans are continuing to pay the price for what happened on 9/11, while we’re overseas.

“People (tend to) forget that the military was involved in 9/11,” Boettjer continued. “The military and the Pentagon was hit badly, also. So, we don’t want everybody to forget. That’s the bottom line.”

During the event, the Blue Knights motorcycle brigade will ride in honor of the veterans. There also will be guest speakers, including an air-traffic controller who was on duty during 9/11. He was monitoring air traffic above Pennsylvania. There also will be a guest speaker from the NYPD. He helped to lead the cleanup following 9/11.

“I think that people have become complacent about what’s actually going on in the world today. This didn’t stop at 9/11,” Boettjer added. “The terrorists that were involved in this, (i.e.) the Taliban, Isis, they’re still active. This is continuing, and the military is still paying the price for this overseas. We don’t want people to forget what actually happened.”

The Memorial Tribute will be held at 5:45 p.m. at 400 S. Sykes Creek Pkwy. on Merritt Island.

For more information about the Brevard County 10-13 Club, go to bc1013club.org.