D.C.-area events commemorating the 9/11 terrorist attacks will look different this year as the coronavirus pandemic pushes many events online.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked — one flown into the Pentagon, two into the Twin Towers in New York City, and the fourth, Flight 93, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Many of the stories from that day were of first responders who ran into the burning buildings to save lives, some to never come out, or to die later from the repercussions.
Among the events scheduled for Friday, there will be a memorial service at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Museum in D.C.
“The memorial and museum are committed to honoring the memories of the brave men and women who gave their lives that day,” said memorial fund and museum CEO Marcia Ferranto.
She said they also remember those who have died in the days, months and years after the attacks.
“Currently, there’s more than 300 who have died since then,” Ferranto said, “9/11 continues to affect our lives today. People don’t realize — last year, we added an additional 17 names to the wall from 9/11.”
“It’s going to continue for a long time — 9/11 and its effects on law enforcement and those first responders,” she added.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s memorial event will be broadcast live on its Facebook page, instead of being the usual in-person service open to the public.
“We’re going to be starting about the same time as the towers went down,” Ferranto said. “So you will be watching us sort of going through that time period reading names of fallen officers. There will be a laying of wreaths in between each attack.”
The public also is encouraged to light a virtual candle in memory of a fallen officer through the museum’s ongoing United By Light campaign.
Elsewhere, Joint Base Andrews will hold a remembrance ceremony and helicopter flyover by UH-1N “Huey” Helicopters assigned to the 1st Helicopter Squadron. The ceremony will begin at 8 a.m.
There will also be a moment of silence and a bugler from the U.S. Air Force Band playing taps.
Alexandria, Virginia, will be posting a Virtual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony on its website, instead of the usual annual large gathering, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The ceremony will feature remarks from Mayor Justin Wilson, City Manager Mark Jinks and representatives from the fire department, police department and sheriff’s office. The tribute will also include the ‘Return to Quarters’ bell-ringing ceremony,” said a news release from the city.
Arlington County, Virginia, will also hold a virtual event to include the presentation of Colors by the Arlington County Public Safety Combined Honor Guard and the laying of a wreath at the Bozman Government Center. There will be a moment of silence at 9:37 a.m., the minute when the plane struck the Pentagon.
There will also be a Bolster The Blue event in the evening, at 6 p.m., in Fairfax County, Virginia, with a gathering to pay tribute to Fairfax County police and honor those who died on 9/11, as well as all fallen officers. It will be held outside Franconia District Police Department in Alexandria.
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