LEONARDTOWN, Md. — Foundation 4 Heroes, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reinforce a path for a positive future for children, held a 9/11 commemoration at the Governmental Center Lawn in Leonardtown over the weekend. On the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, they honored the victims and the heroes by reciting their names.

“It was powerful and pretty emotional for those who read the names of loved ones,” Dr. Jay Lipoff, event director, said. “This is a wonderful event to bring heroes from our community together.”

Although the turnout could have been more for the event, the purpose of the event was upheld. All the victims of the 9/11 attack were given proper respect.

“We do not do this for the audience, but we do this because this is the right thing to do. It is about saying the names of the people that died, so they are remembered,” Lipoff said.

Additionally, this year’s event featured an award in honor of a beloved hero in the community who lost her battle with cancer earlier this year, Peggy Smolarsky. Corporal Kristi Nelson and Sgt. Angela Delozier was recognized with this honor.

“I decided one way to keep Peggy’s spirit alive was to create an award in her honor,” Dr. Lipoff said in a Facebook post earlier this year.

Also, the foundation donated money to various organizations in attendance. The EMS personnel received $2,000 in donations while one of the speakers received books, capes and masks to bring to her job at John Hopkins Hospital.

“I wish we had more support because we would do more if we could,” Lipoff said.

Foundation 4 Heroes had multiple sponsors for the event including Lighthouse Title, Resource Management Concepts, Social Coffee House, Chick-Fil-A First Colony, Cheseldine Tire and Auto, and many others.

This event was a success, and Dr. Jay Lipoff looks forward to continuing this tradition for the upcoming years.

“This was the 20th anniversary, and it is a day our country can not forget,” Lipoff said. “The best way to never forget is to rehash things. Then, tell our kids, so they can understand the impact and maybe after yesterday our country can look back and look forward and try to come together again.”

For more information on the event, check out the Foundation 4 Heroes Facebook page: