Candlelight Vigil at 9/11 Memorial Grove Garden and Grand Opening for New AEOC
Fairfax County Office of Public
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
Aug. 27, 2004
Two September Ceremonies to be Held at
Candlelight Vigil at 9/11 Memorial Grove Garden and Grand Opening for
The month of September will witness two special ceremonies at the Fairfax County Government Center – a candlelight vigil at the Memorial Grove Garden and the grand opening of the Alternate Emergency Operations Center (AEOC).
9/11 Memorial Grove Garden
The candlelight remembrance ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial Grove Garden will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. The 9/11 Memorial Grove Garden is located on the grounds of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax. Those interested in attending will gather in the forum area of the Government Center and be led to the garden by the Fairfax County Public Safety Honor Guard.
Following the national anthem and presentation of the colors, Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, will offer opening remarks and Michael Shochet, Cantor of Temple Rodef Shalom of Falls Church, will deliver the inspirational message. Shochet serves as the chaplain coordinator of the Fairfax County Police Department where he helps organize the eight volunteer chaplains who serve the department. He also serves as a chaplain with the FBI and was on the scene at the Pentagon following the Sept. 11 attack as a police chaplain.
The Fairfax Jubilaires will perform patriotic music and refreshments will be served immediately after the ceremony in the forum of the Government Center. The Fairfax County 9/11 Memorial Grove Garden, which was dedicated in a ceremony last year, was designed by National Park Service landscape architect and Fairfax County Tree Commissioner Michael McMahon.
Alternate Emergency Operations Center
On Monday, Sept. 13, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will officially open the AEOC – the county’s Alternate Emergency Operations Center – on the ground floor of the Fairfax County Government Center. The AEOC is the central facility from which local leaders control government resources, communicate information and decisions to the public and deploy assets to meet critical community needs during an emergency or disaster.
An open house will be held from noon - 2 p.m. with an opening ceremony immediately following the conclusion of the regularly scheduled morning session of the Board of Supervisors. During the open house, visitors can tour the facility and view demonstrations of the new equipment and technical systems that will be used by county staff to manage local and regional emergency events. Special tours will be conducted for members of the media between noon and 2 p.m.
The new 4,000 square foot AEOC will replace the current facility at the Pine Ridge Public Safety Center, which was converted in 1985 from an elementary school built in 1969. The current 950 square foot facility does not provide enough space for the more than 34 public and private agencies that use the EOC as a command center to provide emergency response and recovery operations, and it lacks the infrastructure to support new information technology and communication systems.
Although the primary use of the AEOC is to coordinate the county’s response to emergency events, this facility will also be used for training and exercises. The facility is designed to accommodate 75 people working at individual work stations which are each equipped with a phone line and laptop computer. A small conference room includes meeting space as well as equipment for teleconferencing and video conferencing communications.
For more information about either ceremony, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935.