Tanker flyover planned during Sept. 11 memorial
Herald Staff Writer

BRADENTON - A refueling tanker aircraft from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa will be roaring over Manatee County on Sept. 11 as part of a full day of memorial activities.

The flyover is part of the annual memorial to honor those who died in the terrorist attacks in 2001, as well as those who risked their lives every day to protect the community.

The Emergency Services Memorial Committee, made up of representatives from all the fire departments, emergency medical services and law enforcement agencies within Manatee County, will begin the day with a flyover of an U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refueling plane.

The 136-foot-long aircraft with a more than 130-foot wingspan will fly up the Manatee River from Tampa Bay and the community is asked to line the riverbank with flags starting at 8:30 a.m.

At 9 a.m., the unveiling and dedication of the Sept. 11 memorial will be held in Rossi Park.

"We had awful weather last year and hope it will be better this year," said Deputy Chief Dave Quaderer of the Cedar Hammock Fire Control District, who along with Chief Tom Hennessy of Southern Manatee Fire Rescue, is co-chairman of the committee organizing the activities.

"I was taken aback to see everybody come out in such bad weather last year," Quaderer said. "It was very refreshing to see the support for those who risk their lives every day for the community."

The memorial dedication will be the first public event in the newly renovated Rossi Park, according to Mayor Wayne Poston.

"I think it will be wonderful and the public will be surprised at how nice the park is," Poston said.

Also planned for the day is a Tribute to Heroes Luncheon at noon in the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium at City Centre, 1005 Barcarrota Blvd.

Karen Windon, director of Manatee County Department of Public Safety, Chief Mark Souders of the Bradenton Fire Department and Manatee County Sheriff Charlie Wells will introduce the guest speaker, Kevin Shea, a retired lieutenant with the City of New York Fire Department.

Shea, a second generation firefighter, had a 22-year career with service in New York Rescue 1 district in Manhattan. He retired after suffering injuries in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

A parade at 7 p.m. down Manatee Avenue West will wrap up the day of tribute. Participating will be units from all the fire departments, law enforcement agencies and emergency medical services, as well as the military.