The Carmel Fire Dept. will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a ceremony at the city’s Veterans Memorial that is expected to be a bit larger in attendance this year.
CFD starts its annual remembrance event by playing a recording of New York City dispatchers communicating with first responders at 8:46 a.m., which is when the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center north tower. This year, the timing coincides with the Saturday Farmers Market across the street, so the market will pause from approximately 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. to allow vendors and guests to attend the solemn ceremony.
“It’s a truly moving service. It brings goosebumps when the radio calls begin,” said Ron Carter, president of the Carmel Farmers Market. “I think it’s certainly appropriate to remember this, because so many of our young people were not even born at the time that this happened. It’s a really important thing for them to remember what happened and understand how the community sacrificed for it.”
Farmers Market volunteers will be stationed around the market during the pause to allow vendors to leave their booths to attend the 25-minute ceremony if they choose. 3rd Ave. SW will be closed to the west of the market during the ceremony to allow easy and safe access.
Besides the playing of the radio traffic, the event will include a wreath presentation, remarks from fire and police department chaplains, a moment of silence and an opportunity to view a piece of a World Trade Center tower.
“For us, this is important, observing the 20th year,” CFD spokesman and firefighter Tim Griffin said. “As the fire service, one of the things we said (after the 9/11 attacks) is ‘Never forget.’ That’s why we want to make sure this is always a priority. If we don’t remember, how can we expect other people to?”
As the U.S. is facing another set of challenges 20 years later, Griffin said he hopes the ceremony will remind attendees of the nation’s strength in hard times.
“It’s good to remember in this crazy world of a pandemic that one of the strongest points of the U.S. is when it’s faced with a tragedy, we’ve always been able to unite as a country,” Griffin said. “My hope is that people can remember just how united we can become. Maybe it’ll help people to embrace that, no matter what belief system or side of the aisle you sit on.”