9/11 Events Planned for Sacred Sites

Posted: 09-09-2009
Updated: 09-10-2009 12:58:36 PM

Firehouse.com News

As the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks quickly approaches, memorials at the three sites of tragedy are being finalized.

From former politico, the current president to a top country music artist, all will commemorate the day in their own ways.

D.C. Area

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced President Barack Obama plans to observe the anniversary of the terror attacks with a visit to the Pentagon.

There, Obama is likely to tour the memorial, which opened last year, and make some remarks. There are no plans for him to travel to New York as he did last year as a candidate.

As the President speaks at the Pentagon, peace officers and friends will be gathering in Washington, D.C., at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to remember the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history. At 9 a.m., board members and staff of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) will gather at Panel 9 through 22 of the memorial's west wall where the names of the 72 officers died appear. Their names will be read aloud and a wreath and commemorative poster in honor will be laid.

"With the passage of time, the horrific events of 9/11 seem to have faded a bit from our collective consciousness," said NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd. "But the service and sacrifice of the 72 courageous law enforcement heroes who laid down their own lives that day for the safety and protection of others will always be remembered here at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial."

New York City

As usual, there will also be a lot going on in New York City. For the first time this year, the annual reading of the names ceremony, held each year at Ground Zero, will include volunteers as well as the 9/11 family members. The reading is being done this year in commemoration of the day becoming a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Three family members will speak during the ceremony.

As the names of all 2,751 victims are read aloud, each family member will be paired with a volunteer from the five boroughs of New York who will represent the spirit of compassion that unified the city after the tragedy. Four moments of silence will be observed to commemorate the important times of the day such as the time each plane hit the towers and when the towers fell. The "Tribute in Light" will return at sunset.

Additionally, there will be numerous free concerts and church services throughout NYC, including the annual 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial Annual Floating Lanterns Ceremony presented by the New York Buddhist Church. The ancient custom symbolically represents the lives that have gone before us and the light of hope for peace and harmony.

Shanksville, Pa.

On the sacred ground in Shanksville, thousands are expected to gather in the field where the 40 heroes of United Flight 93 to commemorate their courage and sacrifice.

Among those schedule to attend is country music artist Trace Adkins who will perform the National Anthem. Retired General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State, will give the keynote address.

Also in attendance will be the honorary co-chairs of the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign former Pa. Gov. and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and retired Gen. Tommy R. Franks. Also attending will be Gordon Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93.

At 10:03, the moment Flight 93 crashed, each name of the passengers and crew members will be read. Bells of Remembrance will be tolled by members of the families and community members who helped in the aftermath.

The laying of wreaths at the crash site will also be conducted by family members and dignitaries.