Several Remembrance Day ceremonies are being held locally this Saturday to remember the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
This year’s Patriots Day marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and VFW Post 1913, the Hopkinsville Fire Department and the Oak Grove Community Center will each be hosting ceremonies Saturday morning.
While HFD will be hosting its ceremony Saturday morning, Fire Chief Steve Futrell took to Facebook to announce that it will be closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns.
“As the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is approaching, it’s hard to believe 20 years have gone by so quickly,” Futrell wrote.
“Most of us can easily recall the exact spot we were in when we heard about the attacks. It was a day of many emotions, not only for fire departments across the United States, but for all public safety agencies.”
Futrell added that 343 firefighters, 23 New York Police Department officers and 37 Port Authority Officers were killed during the attacks, along with 2,977 civilians.
“Each year since, Hopkinsville Fire Department has held a ceremony to pay tribute to the men and women lost during these attacks,” Futrell said.
“Unfortunately due to COVID-19 concerns, this year’s ceremony will be closed to the public. Keeping the public safe is our number one priority and although this year’s ceremony will not look like years past, we hope to join with the public again in 2022.”
Futrell continued to write that while HFD would not be hosting a public event, the department asks that everyone join them in honoring the lives that were lost on 9/11.
He also invited businesses and citizens to stop by HFD’s Main Station to pick up a photograph of a firefighter lost during the attacks and display them in their businesses or homes.
The VFW, just as it did last year, will be once again hosting its Remembrance Day ceremony on the front lawn of its post.
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Post 1913 just off Skyline Drive.
VFW Post Commander John Brame shared that the ceremony will be brief, but will focus on the importance of remembering the attacks on 9/11 and the lives lost.
The ceremony will begin with the post of the colors, Brame will then briefly address the public with a speech regarding 9/11, “Taps” will be played, a short prayer will be said and then the VFW will release red, white and blue balloons into the air, each representing the life of a person lost in the attacks.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, Brame said refreshments and sandwiches will be provided before everyone in attendance goes about the rest of their day.
Brame shared that the VFW has held a 9/11 remembrance ceremony since roughly 2006 and the VFW has always felt it was important to continue holding the ceremony each year.
“We should remember the 9/11 attacks and we should continue to do it,” Brame said. “There was a tremendous amount of Americans that lost their lives and it was just an attack on our country.”
Brame stated that while this year marks 20 years since Sept. 11, 2001, VFW is not approaching Remembrance Day any differently.
“We’re going to approach it the same we have had at 15, 10 years, whatever it is, it was an attack on our country and we just don’t need to ever forget it,” he said. “We need to remember it and remind people that history is repeated often times and we need to guard ourselves and our country to not let this happen again, if it is at all possible.”
Oak Grove will also be hosting its own 9/11 Memorial ceremony Saturday at the Oak Grove Community Center beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The City of Oak Grove partnered with Oak Grove Tourism as well as the Community Center to host the ceremony at the Community Center.
The capstone of the event will be the display of almost 700 American flags on the knoll in front of the center along Highway 911. Each flag is meant to represent a life from U. S. Army Fort Campbell that has been lost in the war that ensued following the 9/11 attacks.
The public is invited to the event and encourages everyone to come together, pay respect and honor the police and fire departments, servicemen and all of those who sacrificed their lives since the 9/11 tragedy 20 years ago.