you're reading...

Cornelius News

2 retired FDNY firefighters from Cornelius will help kick off Panthers game

Panthers vs. Browns this Sunday

Sept.  9. By Dave Vieser. Two Cornelius residents—both former New York City firefighters—will “Keep Pounding” the drum before the start of this Sunday’s 9-11 Carolina Panther home opener at Bank of America Stadium.

Jim Butler and Peter Blaich, both of whom who spent many hours at the World Trade Center following the terrorists attacks in 2001, will officially send the Panthers off to what will hopefully be a successful season.

Jim Butler at scene of 9/11 attack

What Keep Pounding means

Immediately following the coin toss before every home game, honorary drummers rally the entire Panther home stadium by hitting the massive six-foot Keep Pounding Drum four times to signify four quarters. Keep Pounding Drummers come from a variety of backgrounds and occupations, but all have overcome a great trial or adversity that has not only made them strong but also pushes them to make others around them stronger.

About the firefighters

Butler, 67, lived his entire life in Freeport, NY until moving to Cornelius in 2014. In addition to serving with the FDNY he was also chief of the Freeport Fire Dept., the largest volunteer fire department in the state.

Peter Blaich

Blaich, 50, grew up and lived in Staten Island, a borough of New York City, until he moved to Cornelius in 2016.

Click here for how to watch the game.