Columbia County's services to honor the heroes and fallen of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and local first responders begins at 9 a.m. Monday at the Evans courthouse.
The 9/11 - A Day of Re-membrance services will begin with prayer, moments of silence, ringing of the bell by Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue firefighters and the lowering of the Columbia County Justice Center flag to half-staff.
The day-long ceremonies mark the fifth anniversary of the attacks, which killed more than 3,000 people in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and four hijacked airliners. Many were rescue workers killed in the line of duty.
"We felt it was extremely important, as a community, to come together on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 and express our continued grief and appreciation to all of those innocent victims who lost their lives during the attack on our country," Columbia County Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker stated in an e-mail.
First responders and military personnel will be honored for their dedication and service since the attacks, she said.
Wesley United Methodist Church on North Belair Road will hold prayers at the altar from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Beginning at noon, the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center inside the Columbia County Library will hold three free screenings of the film United 93.
The movie recounts the actions of the passengers aboard the airliner to prevent it from crashing into a fourth civilian target, likely the White House or U.S. Capitol, according to The 9/11 Commission Report. Everybody aboard the airliner died when it crashed outside Shanksville, Pa.
Remembrances will conclude with a celebration of emergency personnel at 6 p.m. at the Columbia County Amphitheater. Military personnel and uniformed law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel will be honored.
There will be singing by the Wesley Youth Choir and the distribution of Lifesavers candy to the honored men and women. Winners of The Columbia County News-Times 9-11 essay contest also will be announced.
The contest asked local elementary, middle and high school pupils to reflect on their feelings about the terrorist attacks in 50 words or fewer. Winners will receive a $100 savings bond and their essays will be published in the Wednesday edition of The News-Times.
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