American Sikh Council (ASC) representatives Karanveer Singh and Kavneet Singh participated in the 20th anniversary of 9/11, which was organized and held by the American Legion in Gibbsboro, NJ between 10:30 – Noon, on Saturday September 11, 2021.
The George Walton American Legion Post 371, Gibbsboro NJ invited members of the Police and Fire Departments from the surrounding towns of Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Berlin Twp and Berlin Boro on this solemn occasion. A Scout Troop from Gibbsboro was also present.
The event started with the national anthem, followed by the Fire Fighter’s prayer done by Perry Bascou of Pennsauken, NJ. The master of ceremonies was David Berenato who thanked all the first responders for continuing to protect all citizens on a daily basis.
William DiCola a Special Agent with the FBI and Kathryn Lambert a retired supervisory Special Agent with the FBI, were both guest speakers who recollected and shared some of their own experiences surrounding tragic events of 9/11/2001. They reminded us of the bravery of so many first responders and how they have inspired many others to continue in their footsteps to help keep our society safe.
The closing prayer was done by Sharan Bosler the President of American Legion, Post 371.
The final salute was done by the Post 371 honor guard with the TAPS led by Martin Seroter.
The over 150 attendees who were present, were served lunch and invited to view some of the artifacts of the Twin Towers, which included rocks/soil from Shanksville, PA where one of the planes crashed on 9/11, all curated and displayed in glass cases inside Post 371.
Sikh Americans like all Americans of various hues need to always remember 9/11 as fateful marker, to stand together regardless of our internal differences and continue to serve our great nation in whatever capacity we can, as taught by our founding Gurus/ Enlighteners.
The issue of bias and hate crimes against Sikh Americans continue, but as Sikh Americans we have to step out of comfort zones and reach out to those we normally do not, so that we can make a difference by educating others while creating a better understanding so there is sustained mutual respect, for a better tomorrow.