GEORGETOWN — In modern-day history, it’s the day that changed the world.
Numerous events are planned in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 — when hijacked airliners brought down the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, punctured the Pentagon and crashed in remote south-central Pennsylvania.
Organizers of the 20th-anniversary 9/11 Remembrance in Georgetown are arranging something special to ring in the solemn occasion.
Plans are to have a bell, like that from a firetruck, available throughout the event, so attendees can ring it and say the name of one of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the terrorist attacks.
“Any person that wanted to could go up and ring that bell and read a name,” said CHEER Inc. CEO and event organizer Ken Bock, noting similar events he has experienced are quite meaningful. “It will be throughout the course of your ceremony, and anybody that wants to, and is so moved, can go and ring that bell and read the next name on the list.”
A list of victims of the attacks will be provided.
It also was suggested by 9/11 Remembrance Committee member Mabel Kelly that there be lists with names of police officers and firemen in Delaware who have died in the line of duty.
CHEER Inc. and the County Seat Cruisers car club are co-hosting the 9/11 Remembrance on the grounds of the CHEER Community Center on Sand Hill Road in Georgetown. It will run from 2-7 p.m. Sept. 11.
The planned event in 2020 was not held due to the pandemic.
Efforts are underway to borrow large quantities of American flags “to dress this up as much as we can in a respectful way,” Mr. Bock said.
The plan is for a large presence of firetrucks, police vehicles, ambulances, antique cars and trucks. Dash plaques will be awarded to the first 200 participants.
Inside the center, CHEER board president Walt Koopman, a Korean War veteran, will showcase a pictorial display on 9/11. Respectful pictures from the public are also welcome.
The growing list of invited dignitaries include Gov. John Carney and/or Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, Delaware National Guard Adjutant General Mike Berry and others.
The gathering will feature all-American food — baked beans, hot dogs, hamburgers and apple pie — provided by the CHEER Center.
Donations are welcome and will support the Georgetown Fire Co. and the Georgetown Police Department and its Junior Police Academy.
Siblings Sandy Sanchez and Delvin Sanchez will provide Spanish translation during the event. Additionally, two children will recite the Fireman’s Prayer and the Policeman’s Prayer.
“It’s a good time to remember our first responders and our police departments,” said Mr. Koopman. “It doesn’t mean just Shanksville (Pennsylvania), or down at the Pentagon … or even in Delaware. Because nobody knew at that time, 20 years ago, really what was going on. How many more are coming? They were on 100% alert. The military was ready. We didn’t know how much this was going to be, as far as an attack on our country.
“So let’s remember them on that day, every day. We’re very fortunate, in 20 years’ time, we haven’t had on our homeland anything like this thus far — knock on wood.”
For more information, contact Levin Clark at 500-1128 or Ms. Kelly at 398-8999.