FAIRBORN — Nearly 13 years have passed since that fateful day, Sept. 11, 2001, when the lives of Americans changed forever. Each year since then, the City of Fairborn has conducted a memorial ceremony remembering those who lost their lives and who continue to fight for our freedoms.
The 13th annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony will take place at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in front of Calamityville, the National Center for Medical Readiness, 506 W. Xenia Drive. The event is open to the public and all are invited to attend.
As the Fairborn community and dignitaries gather around the monument and New York’s Twin Towers steel artifact, they will find some new additions to the memorial site. Last week, 28 Greene County Career Center students from Natural Resource Technologies class gave the landscaping a facelift.
“They planted nine Cleveland Pear trees around the monument, with one set off to the side to represent the plane that went down in Shanksville, Pa.,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Paul Newman. “They also planted 11 rose bushes, and three yellow shrubs behind each of the three benches, keeping with the theme 9/11.”
Class instructor David Sproull had attended a 9/11 Memorial Committee meeting and presented his landscaping plan for the memorial site. His students then volunteered their time to plant the trees and flowers, finishing up the job Aug. 29.
“It’s just incredible. It really looks nice,” Newman said. “We just paid for the plants and the students donated their labor. I just supplied them with pizza and soda.”
This year’s 9/11 ceremony will include the presentation of the colors by the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard, followed by an invocation by Pastor Chris Tannreuther and welcoming comments by Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick.
Fairborn 9/11 Monument Committee co-chair, Marilyn McCauley, will give some updates on upgrades and changes which have taken place at the monument over the past two years since its dedication, while reflective remarks will be made by Dr. Larry James, Associate Vice President for Military Affairs at Wright State University.
American Legion Chaplain Roger Sloan will give the benediction followed by the American Legion Post 526 rifle salute to fallen comrades and Taps. Retired Sargeant Del Braund from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office will conclude the event with the playing of the bagpipes.
The monument committee wishes to have the memorial to serve as connection not only to those who were lost on the planes in the towers and the first responders but also the men and women who serve now, have served or made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The ceremony is open to the public with parking available at the Eagles lodge across the street from Calamityville.
Amanda Crowe is editor of the Fairborn Daily Herald covering Fairborn, Yellow Springs, Enon and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Contact her by phone at 937-502-4532 or on Twitter @FairbornHerald.