NORTH METRO ATLANTA, Ga. — This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.
Almost 3,000 people were lost that morning after two planes were flown into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one crashing in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In remembrance of the historic, tragic day in our country’s history, cities across Metro Atlanta are holding memorial events to pay their respects. Residents in Alpharetta, Roswell, Milton, Johns Creek, Dunwoody and Forsyth County have scheduled events to commemorate the day. Here is a look at the local services:
The Alpharetta Rotary Club is partnering with the city to stage a community remembrance of the 9/11 attack beginning at 8:15 a.m. Saturday on the City Green in downtown. Seating for 250 will be in place, but others may stand or find seats on the turf.
City Councilman and Rotarian John Hipes, who helped introduce the annual Memorial Day service to Alpharetta in 2015, said the 9/11 event will focus entirely on emergency first responders.
Scheduled to coincide with the time events unfolded 20 years ago, the program will begin with short video presentations.
The official ceremony opens at 8:30 with an invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance and “The National Anthem.” Emcee for the program will be airwave and podcast personality William Choate, known as Cadillac Jack.
Mayor Jim Gilvin will deliver remarks, and Alpharetta Department of Public Safety Director John Robison will present the keynote address.
“It is said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” Gilvin said. “If so, it is the sacred duty of every American to make sure the people of this great country never forget the horrible attacks that took place on September 11th, 2001. Those of us old enough to remember will never forget the impact that day had on our lives and our nation, but more than 100 million Americans are too young to remember what took place on 9/11. So, as we approach the 20th anniversary of that tragic day, it is more important than ever before that we share our memories of the horrific evil and the amazing heroism that took place on that sunny September morning in 2001. We must never forget, to make sure it never happens again.”
The Downtown Alpharetta Farmers Market, held each Saturday from April through October, will open at the City Green following the ceremony.
The City of Milton scheduled a proclamation and presentation for public safety personnel at the Sept. 8 City Council meeting. Representatives from the city’s police and fire departments were to be on hand to participate in the event to commemorate the anniversary.
Firefighters and police officers will also participate in a special ceremony at Milton High School on the morning of Sept. 10 before the school day begins. Due to health and safety protocols, Fulton County Schools has decided to close the school-led event to the public. To incorporate student participation, the ceremony is being held one day before the anniversary to close out the school week.
Private events will also be held at the city’s firehouses. On Sept. 11, the city will have a contingent from its Fire Department at commemoration ceremonies in New York City.
In partnership with the Rotary Club of Johns Creek and the Rotary Club of Johns Creek North Fulton, residents are invited to attend a Patriot Day commemoration event in remembrance of the anniversary. The commemoration is scheduled for Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m. at Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church on Alabama Road.
The event will also honor survivors and first responders. Former U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears, resident and survivor Beth Zampieri, and U.S. Navy Commander Kimberly George will be presenting along with musical performances by the Autrey Mill Middle School Chorus.
Johns Creek Fire and Police departments will also participate in the event, and donations will be accepted in support of the Johns Creek Public Safety Foundation and charities supported by the two Rotary clubs. Attendees are encouraged to practice social distancing and wear face coverings in accordance with CDC guidelines.
The county will hold a special ceremony leading up to the anniversary on Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. at Fowler Park located on Carolene Way. The public event will be at the park’s picnic pavilion at the open lawn hill.
It is set to feature remarks from Forsyth County Fire Chief Barry Head and Sheriff Ron Freeman, a formal presentation of Colors by the Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office Honor Guards, a Chestatee River Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution wreath-laying ceremony, and special recognition of first responders.
“There is not a day that passes that first responders do not think, in some way, of what happened on that Tuesday morning two decades ago,” Head said in a statement. “We do our best to honor our brothers and sisters that sacrificed all that day to save as many lives as possible in the face of almost certain peril.”
Face coverings and social distancing are strongly encouraged. Parking is available by the pavilion near the playground in the open lawn area.
Dunwoody will remain silent in terms of commemorative events. Members of the Dunwoody Police Department are wearing commemorative badges and pins to recognize the 9/11 anniversary.
Roswell is choosing to remain silent in remembering this day. According to local officials, there are no events planned on the city’s calendar.