COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The 10th annual “Morning of Remembrance” ceremony is set to begin at 8Friday, September 11, 2020 at the Columbia 9/11 and First Responders monument.
The memorial standing right next to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center literally brings pieces of 9/11 here to the Midlands.
After the show of support from South Carolina to New York following the tragic events, New York returned the show of appreciation by sending two beams from the collapsed World Trade Center towers, which now stand as the Columbia 9/11 and First Responders monument.
The annual Morning of Remembrance is organized by the 9/11 Remembrance Foundation of South Carolina. Each year since 2011, the event not only honors those who perished on the day of the terrorist attacks, but all of the first responders and military members who serve daily to keep us safe.
In addition to the two metal beams that make up the monument, there are also two granite pieces displaying the names of all Midlands first responders and military members who have given their lives in the line of duty since 9/11/2001. Two more names have been added this year, bringing the total to 59.
Their loved ones have been invited to this year’s ceremony, which will see some changes because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Irmo Fire District Chief Mike Sonefeld is also an organizer of the annual Morning of Remembrance. He said, “It’s going to look a little different. Masks will be a requirement to be anywhere near the ceremony and the plaza, in which the monument is actually in, will be the VIPs and families only.”
The chief said the public is still invited to take part in the event and, “will be able either watch – livestream it, Facebook – or they can watch from a distance outside the plaza. There will be plenty of space out there in the roadway. The roadway will be closed. So, we’re having to take all the necessary precautions that are in place.”
New this year, a new Wall of Remembrance will be unveiled. Before, you would just see the names of the fallen Midlands first responders and military members. This new addition to the memorial will also include their pictures.
During the ceremony, “We’re going to follow the exact timeline that those events actually took place on 9/11/2001 and we’ll ring the bell at appropriate times when the planes strike, when the buildings fell,” said Chief Sonefeld, who added that, “The importance here – when we say, ‘South Carolina will never forget,’ it’s not a phrase or a motto. It’s an action word. If you don’t take action to say you never want to forget, you will forget and by not doing this, I’m afraid it’s slipping further and further away from us just saying, 'Oh, it’s that date again.”
The ceremony begins at 8 a.m.