9/11 Memorial Grove

Moving words, reflective music and simple symbolism highlighted Fairfax County’s fourth annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony held on the grounds of the Government Center at sunset on Sept. 11, 2005. Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, Fire Chief Michael Neuhard and Police Chief David Rohrer delivered remarks that not only discussed Sept. 11, 2001, but also connections to Hurricane Katrina.

Police and fire chiefs lay wreath
Police Chief David Rohrer, left, and Fire Chief Michael Neuhard, center, place a memorial wreath at the 9/11 Memorial Grove on Sept. 11, 2005. (Photo/Fairfax County)

“This year our memorials are being held against a backdrop of another national tragedy where, this time, the fury of nature has brought unimaginable loss of life to our shores once more,” Connolly said. “It is fitting today to honor the victims and the heroes of 9/11 -- and of Hurricane Katrina -- and to reflect on the quiet heroism of our first responders, the men and women who protect us every day, without fanfare or television cameras, as we go about our lives.” ( Read text of remarks)

As Neuhard reflected on the events of Sept. 11, he also looked ahead with a call for greater preparedness.

“For the future we strive to be better prepared and more secure by recommitting to prevention and response capabilities,” Neuhard said. “We provide strength to each other by remaining committed to values of freedom, service, loyalty and self-sacrifice.” (Read text of remarks)

In addition to the words shared, the ceremony included laying of a wreath, lighting of candles, planting of state flags and tolling of the bells to remember the victims and families of Sept. 11. The Faifax County Joint Public Safety Honor Guard presented the colors and Police Officer First Class Laura Zambron sang the National Anthem. The Fairfax Jubil-Aires provided music throughout the ceremony, including “God Bless America.”

The 9/11 Memorial Grove was approved by the Board of Supervisors and designed by Michael McMahon, Fairfax County Tree Commission chair and a landscape architect for the National Park Service. The site itself contains symbolism representative of that tragic day in 2001. (Read more about the symbolism)

First Responders
Fairfax County first responders listen to the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony on Sept. 11, 2005. (Photo/Fairfax County)

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