Join Branford Rotary’s 9/11 Town Green Event/Butterfly Release

As the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 rapidly draws near, a truly special tribute is being prepared in Branford, set for Sunday, Sept. 11. Bells will toll from churches, fife and drums will play, and butterflies will be released.

Hosted and organized by the Branford Rotary Club, Let Freedom Soar is an hour-long program that will celebrate the continuation of America's freedoms while remembering that horrific day, one decade ago, when terrorist attacks took a terrible toll-in particular at the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings in New York City, just hours away from Branford.

The Branford event will include a reading of the names of the Connecticut residents who were casualties of the attack.

"Rotary members will read names of 150 people," said Branford Rotary President Alpha Coiro, noting, "There was just one Branford causualty, Lindsey Morehouse. She and her family were summer residents and she had just gotten her first job that September."

Morehouse was in her 20s when she lost her life in the WTC attacks. Coiro said her family was invited to the Branford 10th anniversary commemorative event, but Morehouse's mother said the family will be at the WTC site on that day.

Coiro emphasized Branford's 9/11 commemorative event will not only recognize those who lost their lives in the attacks, but will also help residents honor or remember local friends or family members (registered in advance) during the highlight of the day's program: a release of what Coiro described as "countless" painted lady butterflies into the skies of Branford.

The butterfly release will not only "embody America's freedoms" and recognize those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks, but will also allow residents "to have personal friends or family members-anyone who is near and dear-to be recognized during the release," said Coiro.

Right now, Branford Rotary is encouraging residents who'd like to have a butterfly released in honor of a living friend or family member or in memory of a loved one who has passed away to visit www.branfordrotary.org, where contributions of $10 are being accepted for each honoree. The more honorees, the more spectacular the release. Coiro told The Sound all donations collected will go toward future Branford Rotary community and international service programs and projects.

In addition to the event's dramatic butterfly release, Branford Rotary has several other commemorative activities scheduled for the Green on Sept. 11 from 1 to 2 p.m. (the rain location is First Congregational Church on the Green).

The program will be preceded by the collaborative tolling of many local church bells at 12:46 p.m., followed by a procession on the Green led by the Stony Creek Fife and Drum Corps. The bugle corps of the Second Company, Governor's Foot Guard, will also participate. In addition to the reading of the names of Connecticut's fallen, Coiro will make remarks, First Selectman Anthony "Unk" DaRos will speak, and a proclamation from Gov. Dannel Malloy will be read. There will also be a Color Guard presentation by U.S. Coast Guard (Long Island Sound Group), a rifle squad salute by members of the Branford American Legion, a performance by Branford High School's concert choir, and a "community sing" of patriotic songs, said Coiro.

She strongly encourages the public to gather on the Green for this tribute and to support the butterfly release, by registering now to have someone honored and/or remembered.

"Let us all join together in peace 10 years later and let freedom soar through these beautiful butterflies," Coiro said.

Branford Rotary encourages the public to sponsor a butterfly in memory of, or in honor of, loved ones by donating $10 per honoree in advance. Send checks made out to "The Rotary Club of Branford" c/o Charlotte Mattei, 50 Kirkham St., Branford, CT 06405. Include the name of the honoree, your name, address, telephone number, and email address. Information must be received by Monday, Aug. 29. Forms are also available at www.branfordrotary.org For more information, call 203-503-1829.

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