Ten years to the day after terrorist attacked the U.S. in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, crowds at the took part in a fitting memorial.
Under a sky scrubbed sparkling blue by Irene and lesser storms, a combination of local firefighters, a bagpiper and skydiver all took part in the ceremony, which came on the final day of the jumping event at .
Fire crews from , and Essex paraded in led by chiefs Philip Stevens, Bob Blanchard and Daniel Doucette. The Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit entered riding abreast and Adam Holdaway, a bagpiper from Chelmsford dressed in a stewart plaid kilt raised a tune with "Gus" - his pipes. And once the forces were assembled at the center of the Grand Prix arena, the grounds were hushed with a moment of silence after hearing the National Anthem by Alaska native Chelsea Berry.
“The hearts and the thoughts of everyone are with the victims and the families and the forces that protect us,” said Jon Goldstein, director of public relations for Putnam Investments, the event's top sponsor.
Overhead the mechanical drone of a Cessna airplane blended in with growing volume. Heads tilted upward and just as an announcer confirmed it, Mike Carpenter of Skydive New England dropped into view. First a dot then a smoking streak, Carpenter then carved an arc with his kite sized chute, flew over a Grand Prix jump and landed with a roll and hop on center turf.
The sound of the circling plane kept eyes in the sky as three others from Carpenter’s team followed. Appearing first as one object they split into three bearing an American flag in the center as they neared ground. A gasping and cheering crowd greeted them.