In a reminder of how different public events are in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual ceremony in honor of law enforcement officers killed during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 went virtual Friday morning.
Most years, a large crowd gathers at Judiciary Square’s National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, but this year, those same people gathered in front of their computer screens to hear a few words about those who lost their lives 19 years ago.
The number of 9/11 victims grows every year due to illnesses related to the dust cloud generated by the fallen towers and debris at the Pentagon that morning.
“The 72 men and women who lost their lives during 9/11, 19 years ago, are never forgotten,” said Marcia Ferranto, the CEO of the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.
She said in the years since, there have been “286 additional officers who have lost their lives since.”
“We’re still adding names to the wall from 9/11 every year,” she said. “Last year, we added 17 names of law enforcement officers who died due to illnesses related to 9/11. And we will be adding more this year. And in the years to come.”
At 8:46 a.m., and again at 9:03, the times two planes crashed into New York’s World Trade Center’s iconic Twin Towers, Det. Marc Mazzella and Sgt. Steve Troyano with the Arlington Police Department took turns reading the names of officers lost. They laid a wreath at the memorial.
They did so again for the crash at the Pentagon.
The ceremony was just one of a number around the U.S. subdued by the virus-induced regulations against gatherings of large groups.