Baldwin and Freeport American Legion Units honor the fallen for 9/11 20th anniversary


The American Legion Posts of Baldwin and Freeport will be holding their yearly ceremony and boat ride in remembrance of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks this year on Friday, Sept 10. Although there is COVID, this 20 year anniversary of 9/11 held by these veterans will not be much different from past ceremonies. 

The ceremony will begin on the docks of Freeport near Captain Lou’s Fleet a little before 7pm. It will begin with a presentation of the color, or the flags, by a color guard followed by the Baldwin and Freeport Commanders of the Legion as well as several others that will address the 20-year anniversary of 9/11.

After the speeches, participants will go on a ride on the Captain Lou VII boat where the ceremony honoring the fallen from 9/11 will continue. Tickets to attend the boat ride are free but will only be available dockside near Captain Lou’s on Sept. 10 for Legion members and family first, then it will be a first-come-first-serve basis for the general public. 

The boats used previous years were owned by local legion members, but recently these members have moved to different parts of the country. The boat that the Freeport and Baldwin American Legions will use this year belongs to Captain Lou’s Fleet in Freeport, which was rented to the legion at discounted price for the occasion.

Taking off from Freeport, the boat will head toward Reynold’s Channel and go west from there. It will be escorted by a large coast guard boat with water cannon. They will have food and drinks as well as live instrumental music from bagpipes and other instruments.

National Legion Commander from Aug. 2019 to Aug. 2021 and Baldwin Legion member, Al Ficalora, says that once the boat is out far enough into the Reynold’s Channel, it will stop and the American Legion will release flowers, most-likely carnations, and ring a bell for each person (first responders, police/fire) that perished responding to the 9/11 attack in 2001. The legion has been practicing this tradition to honor the fallen since 2002, the first anniversary of 9/11.

After this part of the ceremony, the boat will head further west on Reynold’s Channel for people to see the lights on the water, Long Island and New York. Finally, the boat will head back to the docks where it took off and arrive back in Freeport around 10 p.m.