Several 9/11 memorial events are being held in the next few days to remember and honor those whose lives were lost during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
On Saturday, the Oak Ridge Volunteer Fire Department will hold its third annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony and celebration at the Oak Ridge station in Oak Ridge off Highway 82 east of Gainesville.
The ceremony will begin with a 9:30 parade departing from the former Super Plaza store parking lot across from Home Depot in Gainesville. All parade participants should be there at 9 a.m.
The parade including fire trucks, police vehicles, EMS vehicles and military vehicles, will depart at 9:30 a.m. and travel the few miles east on highway 82 to Oak Ridge. At an approximately 10 a.m. arrival at Oak Ridge, the event will begin with a “Light’ Em Up” ceremony with flashing lights and sirens to commemorate the emergency response teams and military who responded on that fateful day in 2001. As a symbolic reminder of the falling towers, the lights and sirens will be silenced followed by a prayer and moment of reflection.
The appreciation portion of the ceremony will then begin to honor past and present emergency and military personnel. Cake and punch will be served after the ceremony and photo opportunities will be available.
In addition to the Oak Ridge parade and ceremony Saturday, another community memorial is planned when Sivells Bend United Methodist Church (SBUMC) holds its third annual memorial service on Sunday, Sept. 8 to honor the first responders and victims of 9/11.
Spokesman Frank Mahnich said, “Although we are a small congregation, we believe that America should not and cannot forget the attack on our country on 9/11. This special service is or way of remembering those who died on that tragic day and the work and service all honorees have done for us locally and throughout the world.”
Beginning at 9 a.m., the congregation will present a donation to the Sivells Bend volunteer Fire Department to thank them for their service and to recognize all firefighters who give so much to their communities.
Sivells Bend UMC will also provide a gift to the Gainesville Medal of Honor organization in recognition of the work they have done to honor the recipients of the Medal of Honor. The donation will help fund the new Medal of Honor Park to be built in Gainesville.
Sivells Bend UMC welcomes the public to join in the service this Sunday at FM 1201 five miles north of Moss Lake.
Gainesville Independent School District plans to mark the anniversary of 9/11 Wednesday with a moment of silence followed by brief discussions regarding 911 in the individual classrooms.