9/11 ceremonies planned in Beaufort County on 12th anniversary of attacks

emoody@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 9, 2013 

File: Beaufort Academy sixth-graders, from left, Quinn Fleming, Emma Hincher, Campbell Dukes and Gracie Guest helped organize American flags to be staked in the ground in front of the school for a Sept. 11 commemoration in 2012.

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From those who weren't yet born to those old enough to call it one of the worst days ever for the country, Beaufort County residents on Wednesday will remember the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"We should never forget what happened that day," says Beaufort City Councilwoman Donnie Beer, one of the chief planners for the city's ceremony. "... I think this is one of the most important things that has happened in my country during my life."

Morning ceremonies are planned across the county to allow residents and schoolchildren to spend a few minutes remembering the attack victims.

The city of Beaufort's annual 9/11 Ceremony starts at 8:30 a.m. in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

The fifth annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony hosted by the Bluffton Police Department begins at 8:40 a.m. at Bluffton Town Hall at 20 Bridge St.

"We just really think it is an important thing to remember and keep in mind for the first responders and the families and everyone affected," said Bluffton police Sgt. D. Scott Chandler, an event organizer. "... It's a half hour of someone's day, and it's important to just keep it fresh in everyone's mind."

Speakers will include department Chief of Staff Angela McCall-Tanner, department chaplain the Rev. John Ring, Mayor Lisa Sulka and featured speaker Wells Morrison of Lady's Island.

Morrison was one of the first FBI agents to arrive at the United Airlines 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pa., and he served as the FBI's deputy-on-scene commander during the recovery effort. He is now the director of security for Dataw Island.

The Bluffton Township Fire Department is also participating this year and will perform a bell ceremony, Chandler said.

BEAUFORT CEREMONY

Speakers at the Beaufort event will include Mayor Billy Keyserling, veterans advocate John Woodall and Ed Kormedi, a firefighter who was in New York City after the attack.

Other participants include the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department, Military Officers Association and the Fellowship Concert Choir of Beaufort. Buglers Ron Heckler and Lt. Alfredo Givens will play taps, and the Exchange Club will present awards for its firefighter and law enforcement officer of the year.

"Our whole world was shaken up that day," Beer said. "I'm just determined that we're not going to let this go by without being remembered."

OTHER CEREMONIES

Children, including those at Coosa Elementary School on Lady's Island, also are participating in ceremonies.

Students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade will walk silently to the flag pole from the school at 8:25 a.m. to recite the pledge of allegiance and sing the national anthem together.

Some local recognition activities preceded the Sept. 11 anniversary. On Monday, Beaufort Academy students placed 3,000 flags throughout the Lady's Island campus and along Sams Point Road in honor of those who died.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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