AMVETS hosting 9/11 ceremony this evening in downtown Jacksonville

By Blake Schnitker on September 11 at 10:22am

Today marks seventeen years since a series of terrorist attacks targeted the World Trade Center in New York City, as well as two United States government buildings.

In an effort to remember and commemorate all of the first responders and veterans who fought for American lives in response to the 9/11 attacks, the local AMVETS Post 100 is hosting their annual 9/11 ceremony this evening in downtown Jacksonville.

Joining WLDS’ AM Conversation today was AMVETS Post 100 President Jim Duncan, who discussed tonight’s ceremony, as well as what today means in the grand scheme of United States’ history. Duncan says that tonight’s ceremony will take place near Jacksonville’s downtown square at 6 p.m.

“Tonight, on the Northwest corner of the Jacksonville square at 6 p.m., we’ll have our ceremony out there. Jacksonville Fire Chief Doug Sills will be the keynote speaker. Sills is also an Army veteran, so we’re looking forward to his remarks today. We’re looking forward to another good event with a great turnout, and we have been blessed with such beautiful weather for having this ceremony.”

Duncan says this evening’s commemoration will be rather short and sweet, and that everyone is welcome to join.

“This isn’t the time for a two-hour speech. This is meant to be a time to offer people a chance to reflect on what happened. Hopefully when we get done they’ll go spend some time with their family and friends. The ceremony will be short and sweet, 25 minutes tops. I appreciate seeing the number of people that take time out of their lives to do this.”

Although the event is organized by AMVETS, Duncan says tonight’s ceremony is about remembering the first responders as much as anyone.

“We have a wide variety of emergency personnel and first-responders that go to work everyday and don’t know if they’ll be going home. For me, there’s a sense of remembering the time right after, when we saw American flags everywhere. I can remember being in shock because it was so quiet, there were no planes flying overhead. The number of young people who have gone on to work for and protect our country and our way of life is remarkable, and we just want to say thank you to them and let them know that we care and there are people here that are never going to forget.”

Chaplain Alan Bradish of the Jacksonville Police Department says that an ASL interpreter will be present as part of this evening’s ceremony. Bradish adds that people should bring lawn chairs for optimal comfort during the event. To hear more about this evening’s 9/11 ceremony, check out our entire interview with Duncan online at WLDS or WEAI.com.