9/11 Memorial Grove Ceremony
Moving words, reflective music and simple symbolism highlighted Fairfax County's sixth annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony held on the grounds of the Government Center on Sept. 10, 2007. Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, Fire Chief Ronald Mastin and Police Chief David Rohrer delivered remarks that reflected on that dark day six years ago.
"This is the fourth year we have gathered here in Fairfax County’s own Memorial Grove Garden to pay tribute to the heroes of 9/11 – the first responders, co-workers, family, friends and neighbors who were among the thousands we lost on that terrible day," Connolly said. "On the eve of the anniversary of 9/11, it is natural for people to question whether we are any safer or more prepared today than we were six years ago. Let me reassure our residents, those here in Fairfax County and across the region, we are in fact safer, more prepared and better equipped to deal with an emergency." (Read text of remarks)
In his reflections on Sept. 11, 2001 Mastin said, "We continue to recommit ourselves; we must be strong, and continue our commitment in being prepared to respond when called poncho together today helps us strengthen and renew that commitment to each other; and to remember those who have bravely fallen trying to help." (Read text of remarks)
"On this anniversary we recall the tragedy, but let us also see this as an anniversary of triumph and hope," Rohrer said. "Our will was tested, but we only became more resolute in our commitment to our values, our democratic ideals, and our principles. Our shared challenge is to sustain that renewed spirit. We must remain resolute and united in purpose, and detect and deter those who would do us or others harm." (Read text of remarks)
In addition to the words shared, the ceremony included laying of a wreath and tolling of a bell to remember the victims and families of Sept. 11. The Fairfax County Public Safety Honor Guard led a procession to the 9/11 Memorial Grove and The Fairfax Jubil-Aires performed patriotic music.
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)
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