It was a very emotional night for everyone who attended the City of Hobart’s 3rd Memorial 9/11 Parade. Residents of Hobart gathered Sunday night to commemorate our first responders, veterans and any of the fallen that were lost on that fateful day in September, 15 years ago.
This year's event started off with a Military Appreciation Picnic, hosted by the Methodist Church, and also included a prayer at the 'Doughboy' in downtown Hobart, a heartwarming ensemble from Hobart’s Wolfgang choir, a beautiful performance from Craig Brooks on his bagpipes, and then the silent procession of the parade. Something really special this year was a survivor from the Twin Towers on September 11th, Don Basco, who came to deliver a truly moving speech to the crowd that had gathered.
This parade and memorial is all thanks to Holly Sandilla, the Parade Founder. “My dad was a fireman, my husband was a fireman, now a policeman, my brother is a retired policeman and it just hit home. I just wanted to do something,” she explained.
Something different for this year was that Holly and her family weren’t working alone. For this year’s Memorial Parade a committee was founded that consisted of not only Holly and her husband, Darren Sandilla, but alongside them were representatives from Hobart VFW, American Legion Auxillary #54, Hobart’s Special Events, Hobart Jaycees Foundation, Hobart Police and Fire Department, and First United Methodist Church of Hobart.
Hanging across the street from Festival Park were sheets and sheets of painted handprints, which served as a Memorial.
“We’ve gone along to all the grade schools, some retirement homes and some football games and asked for everyone’s handprints which represents someone who lost their life that day or any military since then,” explained Sandilla.
For some, this was their first year attending the Memorial Parade. This is true for Reverend Charles Strietelmeier who said, “I’m very happy to see Hobart holding this parade, this type of event. it’s very important for us to commemorate this. This is a pretty patriotic community, we have to cherish the ties that hold us together.”
Mayor Snedecor wanted to offer up a special thanks to Hobart Jaycees, Holly Sandilla and everyone who came together to make this such a special event in the community. The Memorial 9/11 Parade is only held every 5 years to add to the meaningfulness of what this event truly means. Each Parade keeps getting bigger and better with the years that pass and Hobart can only hope that more people come to memorialize our military and first responders in the years to come.