More than 200 members of Blue Star Mothers of America visited the 9/11 Memorial & Museum on Wednesday to pay respects to those serving in the U.S. armed forces.
After touring the grounds, acting President of the Blue Star Mothers Cyndi Ventura laid a wreath at the base of the Survivor Tree. Five Gold Star Mothers – a designation for mothers whose children were killed in combat – placed yellow roses into the wreath as well.
New York City Commissioner for Veterans Affairs Loree Sutton presented a commemorative plaque to the group on behalf of the city. Afterward, the Blue Star Mothers toured the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and many found themselves overcome by the experience.
“For us, as military moms, it was very difficult,” said Ventura, whose son died while serving in the Marines. “Most of our children went into the armed forces because of what they saw at such a young age. It was very emotional for a lot of these moms.”
It was Margie Miller’s first time visiting the Museum. “As a New Yorker,” she said, “having been to the World Trade Center, to the observation deck, the trade centers were synonymous with New York. For me to see it – the steel, the concrete, the steps that people walked down that day – it was overwhelming, solemn, surreal.”
For Ventura, also a New York native, the events of 9/11 are never far from her mind. “What was remarkable, though, through all this turmoil was the way that this city came together” after the attacks. “The patriotism that we had lost was back.”
By 9/11 Memorial Staff