This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of September 11th, 2001, and a pair of services are planned to allow those in the Jacksonville area to pause and remember.
The downtown Jacksonville 9-11 service will be held for the 5th year on the square at noon this Thursday, September 9th. Chaplain for the Jacksonville Police Department Allan Braddish says, this is the first year the service has been held on a day other than September 11th, but it’s for good reason.
“We’ve done it in the past down on the plaza in Jacksonville so the downtown businesses could have the opportunity during the week to participate in the remembrance program. So that is why we have moved it to Thursday this year, to give people the opportunity at noontime over their lunch hour to come and be a part of that program if they choose. At that time we will be giving a little bit of a reflection on 9-11 and we will also be paying due respect to our firefighters, and our police officers, and our EMTs.”
The downtown service is expected to last approximately 25 minutes to allow anyone wishing to attend time to still be able to eat over their lunch hour. Braddish says the other reason for holding the service on Thursday is to not interfere or compete with the service being held on Saturday.
The Jacksonville Amvets Post Number 100 will be holding a remembrance ceremony Saturday on what is the actual 20th anniversary of September 11th. It will be held at the Prairieland Heritage Museum where the Traveling World War II Memorial will be on display.
Jimmy Duncan with the Amvets says the Saturday service will begin with a short parade near the intersection of South Main and Michigan that will proceed to the museum grounds.
“It will probably be about 10:30 [am] by the time the parade gets down there and everyone gets in. the gentleman we have speaking is both former Army and a policeman. He’s a Sargent for the Springfield Police Department and lives here in Jacksonville, Matt Doss. He and his wife and their kids all live here.
We are hoping for good weather, but it’s going to be a beautiful day. We’re looking forward to it and we’ve always had a good turnout at the square and we will get back there next year most likely.”
Chaplain Braddish says in addition to the nearly 3,000 people who were killed in the attacks on 9-11, another roughly 3,000 have died since then due to their exposure to the toxic fumes and debris that followed.
He says it is hard to believe that it has been twenty years since that day.
“Believe it or not, we have a whole generation now coming up that wasn’t even around when it happened. So that’s part of the remembrance program to help us remember. They say if you don’t learn from history you’re doomed to repeat it, so hopefully, we won’t repeat this one.”
The downtown September 11th Service will be held at noon this Thursday on the square, and the Amvets Service will be held near the office of the Prairieland Heritage Museum on Saturday beginning at 10:30 am.