Gracious God, as we gather to remember the heroes that have left the rich legacy to us, we ask you to bless us and our nation, to give us true peace.
They came together in the sunshine Tuesday afternoon under a sky just as blue as that terrible day 11 years ago.
They gathered together to name a new bridge in honor of a young man whose name symbolizes the sacrifice of the post-9/11 world.
Eleven years after terrorists drove planes into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, they gathered to dedicate the bridge to the memory of Travis Manion.
And so we pray, bless us lord God that we may be a blessing to others, and keep us always mindful of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,
Inspired by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Manion joined the U.S. Marines in 2004 after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. It was on his second tour to Iraq that he was killed by enemy sniper fire, on April 29, 2007.
His family started the Travis Manion Foundation in his name to raise money for programs to help wounded veterans of the War on Terror.
Based in Doylestown and run by Travis' sister, Ryan Manion Borek, the foundation works nationwide. But it has a special meaning for those here at home who know the Manions.
"Travis Manion is a national hero. Is and always will be. But he’s our hero," Doylestown Township supervisor Barb Lyons told the assembled crowd.
State Rep. Marguerite Quinn sponsored a bill naming a newly built bridge after Travis Manion. Located near Bristol Road in Doylestown Township, the bridge will carry the soon-to-open Route 202 Parkway over the Neshaminy Creek.
That they may be kept alive in our memory and in our works of mercy. This we ask in faith and with great confidence. Amen.
Quinn presented Ryan Manion and Tom Manion, Travis' father, with a copy of the bill dedicating the bridge to Travis. She also was instrumental in getting another bridge on the Parkway named after another Doylestown man, Army 1st Lt. Colby Umbrell, who was killed in Iraq on May 3, 2007.
The bridges are a fitting memorial to Travis and Colby, Tom Manion said Tuesday.
"I can’t think of anything more fitting than to have these bridges here in their honor, so that any time people travel this space, they’ll be constantly reminded of the price of freedom," Tom Manion said. "It will serve as a shining example of service and sacrifice for generations to come."
Rev. Charles Hagan, of , led several prayers during Tuesday's ceremony. In closing, Hagan asked for God's blessing for all.
"May Travis Manion and all our beloved dead live on in your presence and in the hearts and the minds of all who experienced his example of courage," Hagan prayed. "Give rest to those who died on 9/11, and peace to their families, and help us to live on in the spirit of tranquility and hope."