To mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the McKinney Fire and Police departments are hosting a day of remembrance on Sunday, September 11, 2011. This annual event pays tribute to those who lost their lives in the tragic attacks. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. and takes place near the site of the Veterans Memorial Park in Craig Ranch, 6053 Weiskopf Ave.
This year’s program will build on past ceremonies. To mark the beginning of the day’s events, more than 120 members of the community have volunteered to read the nearly 3,000 names of those lost on 9/11. The readings will begin at 7:46 a.m. to coincide with the time the first World Trade Center tower was attacked. As each name is read, members of the McKinney High School Criminal Justice Club will place a flag in the ground in that person’s honor.
“This new element of the ceremony will help us all remember and understand the significant losses suffered on this day. The visual impact of almost 3,000 flags – one to represent each person lost – will help illustrate the numbers more clearly,” said Assistant Fire Chief Frank Roma.
Upon conclusion of the name reading, guests are invited to return at 1 p.m. for the start of the official ceremony. Speakers include Police Chief Doug Kowalski, Fire Chief Danny Kistner, Mayor Brian Loughmiller and U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson. The key note speaker will be Corporal Thomas Macri of the McKinney PD. Corporal Macri is a former member of the NYPD and was on duty in New York during the 9-11 attacks. The ceremony also includes a flyover and performances by a choir and orchestra.
An artifact from the Ground Zero site now resides in McKinney and will bring a part of New York to the ceremony. A piece structural steel that is stressed and battered from the destruction of one of the World Trade Center towers will be on display at the event. Once the commemorative ceremony concludes, the artifact will be moved back to its permanent location in the McKinney Fire Department Museum located in Fire Station No. 1 at 301 N. McDonald St. in McKinney.
“As we remember the events that took place ten years ago, we have a duty to those who lost their lives that day, and those who continue to fight and sacrifice for our freedom and security, to never forget. McKinney is a community that will never forget,” said Roma.