2011 Union 9/11 ceremony

With the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approaching, the city of Union is planning to again commemorate the event with a ceremony at the old Franklin County Courthouse.

The parks, buildings, development and public service committee, made up of members of the board of aldermen, gave preliminary approval to a request from Union Fire Chief Russ Hamilton to close Church Street on the east end of the courthouse during the ceremony. Church Street, between Locust and Main streets, will serve as a public viewing area for the ceremony, which will take place near the Ben Franklin statue.

“We did this for the 10th anniversary, and the attendance at the event was unbelievable,” Hamilton told the aldermen.

Details of this year’s event are still being worked out, but the 2011 ceremony included a flag raising, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the presentation of a 9/11 flag, a moment of silence, the ringing of the final alarm bell, songs and a special prayer from Union Fire Protection District Chaplain Father Kevin Schmittgens, according to Missourian archives.

The 2011 event also included speeches from law enforcement officials, a youth choir, a large American flag displayed between firetrucks, bagpipers and a display of military vehicles.

People lined up several rows deep to watch.

The event was one of several in the area that year to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and a plane crash in a Pennsylvania field.

This year’s event will have representatives from numerous area emergency agencies. Hamilton said. Although other city streets will be open to traffic, emergency vehicles will be parked along some of them.

The 30-minute event will start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, Hamilton said.

The 2011 event wasn’t the first Sept. 11 remembrance held at the courthouse. On the first anniversary of the attacks in 2002, Franklin County dedicated a “Rock of Remembrance” garden on the southeast lawn of the courthouse.