The 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was remembered at parishes around the diocese.
At Holy Rosary in Claymont, Fathers John Gayton and Donald Van Alstyne led a ceremony that included the dedication of the new Guardian of Defenders Memorial, which was unveiled on the lawn in front of the pastoral center.
The priests met more than 40 years ago in formation for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. Both had long careers as military chaplains, and in recent years, Father Van Alstyne has served in pastoral ministry at Holy Rosary. Together, they founded the nonprofit Guardians of Defenders Memorial Inc.
On the memorial’s website, Father Van Alstyne said his personal engagement with the soldiers who have fought terrorism were his “inspiration and passion to design a memorial.”
“I pray that this memorial will be a source of healing for those loved ones left behind, all of us who served with them, and most especially Gold Star families,” Father Van Alstyne wrote.
The memorial includes the primary bronze statue, a battle memorial, plaques on the base, emblems of the armed forces and Sept. 11, 2001, and a bronze plaque of the 21-gun salute pillars.
Bishop Malooly joined first responders at St. Hedwig in Wilmington, and at St. Jude the Apostle Parish in Lewes, Father Thomas Flowers created a 9/11 Memorial.