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Veterans present folded flag to family of EMS worker that died after responding to 9/11 attacks

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 9:35 AM EDT
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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - A group of veterans in the Grand Strand joined together Friday to make sure those who died during the events of 9/11 are never forgotten.

The Knights of Columbus-Grand Strand Assembly 2107 and Council 8980 hosted a 9/11 remembrance event at the St. Michael Catholic’s Church/School’s Duffy Center in Murrells Inlet.

Larry Berry, faithful navigator for the Grand Strand Assembly, says the event was about remembering the lives of those lost two decades ago, including those who rushed to the scenes trying to save lives.

He explained it’s a difficult time for him because he knew firefighters that responded to the attacks, and that some have since died after suffering health-related complications.

“Since that time over 5,000 people, first responders, have died due to complications from 9/11,” said Berry. “This is in remembrance of all those people that gave their lives for us.”

During the event, the veterans took time to present a folded flag to the family of Ryan McCormick, an EMS responder who died years after the attacks occurred.

His father, Gary McCormick, a veteran, received the flag.

“It’s very special to get a folded flag,” said Gary. “We got one when we buried my son and it flew over the capitol building on the day that he died. It represents his service to this country which is simply amazing. He got to the tower not long after the first plane hit,” said Gary. “He survived the day. A year and a half after, [he got sick], he fought for six years and died in 2008.”

Gary also said receiving the flag during Friday’s event meant a great deal for him and the family.

“It’s especially meaningful because it was my Vietnam veterans’ group who orchestrated this, and though enough of Ryan and the family to do this,” he said.

He’s encouraging everyone to never forget the sacrifices his son and others made two decades ago.

“Keep the memory of all those who did that alive because that’s our country right there, that’s what we do,” Gary said.

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