LEWES, DE – On Saturday, October 12, the Ground Zero Flag Team will board a Cape May – Lewes Ferry vessel and raise the Ground Zero Flag (flag & marble cross) on the third deck of the MV Delaware while the vessel travels to Cape May, N.J. This will be one of several locations to host a special ceremony during Columbus Day weekend as the GZ Flag Team makes its way north from Williamsburg, VA to New York City.
Guests and participants will include people that were directly affected by the 9/11 attacks, military that served during the Global War on Terror, and first responders. During the ceremony, the Ground Zero Flag will fly for a minimum of 9 minutes, 11 seconds of reflection while music is broadcast softly in the background. All participants will be encouraged to sign the logbook and add pictures, patches, badges, challenge coins, and other special remembrances.
The event will take place aboard the ferry vessel, MV Delaware, on the third deck as it travels to Cape May for the 11:15 a.m. departure. All ferry passengers are invited to participate in the ceremony. The MV Delaware will be the first ferry (and the second vessel) to host one of these ceremonies on open waters. The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) was the first vessel to host a ceremony while at sea.
Prior to Saturday’s event, the GZ Flag Team convoy will be coming to the ferry from an earlier ceremony at the Air Mobility Command Museum at the Dover Air Force Base. And afterward, the GZ Flag Team will travel to Waretown, N.J. Anyone interested in joining them for the next event are invited to join the convoy along the way.
The GZ Flag Team carry an American Flag that was flown at the site of what was once the World Trade Center Towers in New York City, and a cross fashioned out of marble recovered from what is believed to be the lobby of the South Tower. The flag was flown both at the Port Authority Police Department Command Center at Ground Zero as well as the rubble of the South Tower for a six week period following 9/11. On November 2, 2001 a larger U.S. flag, filled with signatures of appreciation and encouragement, was presented to the Rescue Workers at Ground Zero and the GZ Flag was brought back to N.J.
The stated purpose of these “Remembrance and Tribute” ceremonies is to remember the 9/11 victims and survivors, to pay tribute to the men and women in the armed services who continue to fight the Global War on Terror, to honor first responders who serve their communities, and to assure all of their families that the American people will “Never Forget” the sacrifices their loved ones made and continue to make for the U.S. Due to the delicate nature of the flag and the header, which contain important signatures from as far back as 2001, the flying of the flag will be dependent on weather and wind conditions.
The Cape May–Lewes Ferry is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by compact in 1962. The ferry is open year-round and has carried more than 45 million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. In 2018, the ferry service, which connects Victorian Cape May, N.J., and historic Lewes, Del., transported approximately 275,000 vehicles and nearly 1 million passengers. For schedule, rates, and other program information, please visit the ferry’s website at www.CMLF.com, or call toll-free, (800) 643-3779. You can also “Like” them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @CMLFerry.
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