Friday, September 9, 2011

Wilmington's Ilario Pantano to participate in 10th Anniversary 9/11 commemorations at Ground Zero.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster /  September 9, 2011

Pantano Will Be A Featured Speaker at 9/11 Freedom Rally

Wilmington, NC:  Ilario Pantano, Conservative Republican Candidate for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District, announced today that he will be participating in National September 11th commemorations at Ground Zero this weekend including the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s 2nd annual Freedom Rally in Raleigh on Sunday afternoon.

“It is a real honor to be able to take part in these commemorations, to honor the memories of those who perished on 9/11 and those who survived but whose lives were forever changed, and to give my reflections on the impact of 9/11 on my life and on our nation,” Pantano said.

“I look forward to personally meeting the 9/11 first responders who will be attending this rally.  It is shameful that they along with clergy members and family members of 9/11 victims have been barred from the official ceremonies on Sunday morning. As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of that horrific day we must never forget what happened and we must remain vigilant and do our very best to make sure an attack of this magnitude never occurs again.”

On Sunday afternoon, Pantano will address AFDI’s Freedom Rally, organized by Pamela Geller.  The rally begins at 3pm at the corner of Park and Broadway and Pantano will speak at approximately 4:15pm. While they are barred and/or not invited to the official 9/11 ceremonies clergy members, 9/11 first responders, and 9/11 family members will be welcome at the Freedom Rally and they are encouraged to attend.

Members of the clergy will be delivering the invocation at the rally, and first responders will be addressing the rally attendees.  Pantano addressed the inaugural Freedom Rally on 9/11/ 2010.  Between 30,000 and 40,000 people attended the inaugural rally and an even larger crowd is expected to attend this year.

Pantano has a very unique and personal 9/11 story.  At the time of the attacks, Pantano had recently started a media consulting business in New York. On his way to a meeting in Manhattan, he witnessed the Twin Towers burning in the attacks of September 11, 2001. Friends and colleagues of Pantano’s were killed in the attacks. A building where Pantano had worked, 4 World Trade Center, was destroyed. 

Pantano rushed to a recruiter’s office and began the lengthy process of returning to service in the Marines, this time as an officer (Pantano had previously served as an enlisted Marine during the Gulf War). Upon graduation of Infantry Officer’s Course, 2nd Lt Pantano and his family were assigned to Camp Lejeune North Carolina, where he took command of an Infantry Platoon with the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Marine Regiment, the WARLORDS.

Pantano would later deploy to Iraq where he would lead his men into combat in Fallujah (2004) during some of the toughest fighting of the war. During combat operations, Pantano was charged with murder for killing terrorists, but was later exonerated of all charges.

Pantano later became a Sheriff’s Deputy in North Carolina and wrote a book about his Experiences, “Warlord”, published by Threshold Editions of Simon & Schuster.  Threshold recently published Vice President Dick Cheney’s book, “In my Time” and is re-releasing Pantano’s book this fall.

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Video of Pantano’s speech can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr3VBH-6K-Y&feature=player_embedded.

Our mailing address is:
Ilario Pantano
PO Box 11280
Wilmington, NC 28404