Columbia County government and fire officials are inviting residents to join them for a Patriot Day ceremony Saturday to honor the nearly 3,000 people whose lives were lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, on the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
The brief ceremony will start at 8:45 a.m. at the Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue headquarters at 3910 Desoto Drive in Martinez.
The ceremony is open to the public.
The county has held a memorial ceremony on Sept. 11 each year since the attacks.
The event is meant to recognize the victims of the attacks, the heroes who gave selflessly to save others and local first responders who serve Columbia County citizens every day, said Pam Tucker, county Emergency and Operations director.
The ceremony will include the last call for the Fire Department of New York by area firefighters, who will ring a bell and lead a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m.
"It gives you chills," Tucker said of the solemn bell ceremony.
The ceremony also will include lowering the station flag to half-staff, and Tucker recommends that American flags on homes, businesses and government buildings be lowered to half-staff.
The Rev. Cynthia Taylor of the Church of the Holy Comforter will lead a prayer.
Taylor counseled others at ground zero shortly after the attacks.
Taylor's church members this week will collect home-baked cookies to deliver to area fire stations Friday and Saturday.
In addition to the county's services, the Knights of Columbus will hold a community-wide commemorative Catholic Mass at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Teresa of Avila Church, 4921 Columbia Road, Grovetown, in remembrance of the victims and rescue workers.
"Christian or non-Christian, they are welcome," said the Rev. Martino Ba Thong Nguyen.
Military personnel and first responders, including firefighters, police and emergency medical personnel, are asked to attend in uniform with their families.
Also on Saturday, the annual Sharefest gospel concert and festival at Lazar's Trailers, 487 Flowing Wells Road, will include a 9-11 remembrance ceremony.
The event is a benefit for the Garden City Rescue Mission.
If you go
What: 9-11 remembrance
When: Saturday, 8:45 a.m.
Where: Martinez Columbia Fire Rescue Headquarters, 3910 DeSoto Drive, Martinez
What: First responders Mass
When: Saturday, 9:30 a.m.
Where: St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, 4921 Columbia Road, Grovetown
What: Sharefest 2010
Where: Lazar's Trailers, 487 Flowing Wells Road, Martinez
When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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