A September 11th remembrance ceremony is once again happening locally, but on a much larger scale in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the tragedy that took place in 2001.
The remembrance ceremony will be held in Gardner Park, on Circle Avenue in Washington Court House, within the football stadium this Saturday, Sept. 11. It will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. Participants should aim to be in their seats by that start time.
According to Concord-Green Township Fire Department Chief Ralph Stegbauer, all county first responders including fire departments, law enforcement, Fayette County EMS, etc., along with Fayette County EMA, Fayette County Veteran Services, Washington Court House City Schools and Miami Trace Local Schools, are helping in making the event happen.
During the ceremony, Sheriff Vernon Stanforth will conduct the welcoming while an invocation will be led by Pastor Joy Stanforth. Both Miami Trace and Washington high schools will have their bands play and also combine to play the National Anthem.
Ed Helt, a retiree of the Washington Fire Department, will be singing. Paul LaRue, a retired local teacher and historian, will do a recount of the day’s events.
Stegbauer said, “at the appropriate times when the buildings were struck — when the towers were struck, we’ll ring a bell center-field and call everybody’s attention to that and have a moment of silence.”
According to www.history.com, “on Sept. 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of George W. Bush.”
According to www.911memorial.org, “the hijacked Flight 11 was crashed into floors 93 to 99 of the North Tower (1 WTC) at 8:46 a.m. The hijacked Flight 175 struck floors 77 to 85 of the South Tower (2 WTC) 17 minutes later at 9:03 a.m.”
According to www.history.com, “American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington, D.C. before crashing into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:45 a.m.”
The website further explains, “a fourth California-bound plane—United Flight 93—was hijacked about 40 minutes after leaving Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Because the plane had been delayed in taking off, passengers on board learned of events in New York and Washington via cell phone and Airfone calls to the ground.
“Knowing that the aircraft was not returning to an airport as the hijackers claimed, a group of passengers and flight attendants planned an insurrection.
“One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone that, ‘I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.’ Another passenger—Todd Beamer—was heard saying, ‘Are you guys ready? Let’s roll,’ over an open line.
“Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were, ‘everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.’
“The passengers fought the four hijackers and are suspected to have attacked the cockpit with a fire extinguisher. The plane then flipped over and sped toward the ground at upwards of 500 miles per hour, crashing in a rural field near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m.”
Also during the local remembrance ceremony, there will be a flag raising. First responders will bring their vehicles and park at the west entrance of the stadium — where the flag raising will occur, as well as along Circle Avenue.
“Everybody can come,” said Stegbauer. “It’s just a time of remembrance. Stop and think about the lives that were lost, and we, as first responders, think about our first responders that were lost.”
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.