At the Annual Special Olmpics Maine Conference held in April 2002 at the Best Western in Waterville, Maine, Patrick Lally of the Westbrook Police Department and I were chosen to represent the State of Maine at a Special Tribute and Kick-Off for Special Olympics New York.
The purpose of this tribute and kick-off was to have Law Enforcement Officers from across the United States and Canada to gather in Lower Manhattan, New York City to Honor the Victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy and light the Flame of Hope in their memory.
WHY: The first leg of the 2002 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics
New York – A Salute to Hope, Honor and Courage. The Special Olympics Flame of Hope represents the courage, determination and hope of individuals with mental retardation who participate in Special Olympics. The Flame of Hope has guided many and now officers will share this symbol with others as a lasting tribute to their sacrifice.
We began at Battery Park in New York City on May 18th, 2002 at Noon, with a delegation of more than 250 police officers, firefighters, emergency medical service personnel and correctional officers from more than 75 agencies in 28 states and Canada. We ran through the streets of lower Manhattan, pausing near ground zero for a moment of silence and concluded at the South Street Seaport.
My special thanks to a Lt with the New York City Port Authority, who lost several of his brave officers in the 9/11/01 attack, for taking the 2nd photo below of me standing and holding the flame of hope. In the 1st Photo some of the above mentioned officers, including myself stand for a picture prior to the run beginning. The 3rd photo is the lighting of the Torch for the run. The Torch was lit using equipment used by recovery people of the Twin Towers. The 4th Photo is the Torch Run beginning in Battery Park across from the Statue of Liberty (I am on the left side in a green jacket), the 5th photo shows me running with others with the torch through the streets of New York City, and the 6th photo shows some of the runners with members of NYPD at the South Street Seaport near the Brooklyn Bridge.