Mention September 11, 2001 to anyone who was around on that day and they can tell you what they were doing when that first plane crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City. Almost 20 years after the event, the image is still imprinted into the brain.
Every year a number of entities in the county have events to honor first responders who were lost. This year the events will all be virtual.
1Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department
Friday, September 11, 9:00 a.m.
Usually the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department has a large on-site event with representatives from local police and fire departments. It draws families from all over the county. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, this year the 18th annual 9/11 Sheriff’s Remembrance Ceremony will be broadcast live on the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page. It will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 11.
Former United States Navy Seal Royce Taylor will be the keynote speaker for the event. The ceremony remembers the victims of the terrorists’ attacks on September 11, 2001 at the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the first responders who lost their lives saving victims.
Taylor graduated from Central High School and the U.S. Naval Academy. As a lieutenant, he commanded the Quebec Platoon of the Seal Team while serving during the Vietnam War. He earned a Bronze Star with a Combat V for leading a clandestine mission. After his military career, he practiced law, and then was elected Circuit Court Judge for Rutherford and Cannon counties in 1998 and served until his retirement this year.
Other participants in the event include Rolling Thunder members raising the POW Flag, Murfreesboro Fire Department ringing the bell in memory of the people who died, and Honor Guard members participating from Smyrna Police Department, Smyrna Fire Department, Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services and the Sheriff’s Office.
2Middle Tennessee State University
Friday, September 11, 7:30 a.m.
The public and Middle Tennessee State University community will be able to watch the 6th Annual MTSU 9/11 Remembrance event starting at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, September 11. Portals to the online event include MTSU’s YouTube channel, Facebook pages for MTSU and the Daniels Veterans Center, MTSU’s Livestream page and True Blue TV.
Decorated veteran and Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority president and CEO Doug Kreulen will be the guest speaker. Kreulen, was on active duty and working at the Pentagon on the day of the attacks.
“He will be able to describe to us what those moments and days were like after…the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77…struck the Pentagon,” said U.S. Army Lt. General Keith M. Huber, MTSU’s senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives.
Along with Kreulen, the program will include remarks from MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, Huber, the singing of the national anthem by country/rock artist Rachel Lipsky, the reading of the 9/11 timeline by MTSU ROTC cadets, the playing of taps by Robert Aanerud, and a special song from country music recording artist Rodney Atkins.
The 9/11 Remembrance event was coordinated by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center. Kreulen served in the U.S. Air Force for 27 years and achieved the rank of colonel before moving to the commercial aviation sector. Kreulen earned the Bronze Star (Kosovo), Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal and several other awards.
3Virtual Run Challenge
Now until October 3, 2020
The 2020 9/11 Memorial Virtual Run Walk is an event that is completed on a contestant’s own time and at the location of their choice. Participants are asked to complete the event’s distance between by October 3, 2020. Each participant is responsible for tracking their own time via a fitness app on a smartphone or other fitness wearable device. Once the required distance is completed, participants will then submit evidence of completion via the Virtual Run Challenge website to claim their medal.
Race fees run between $27 and $37. All proceeds will go to the National Fallen Firefighters Fund and Tuesday’s Children.
More information can be found at the Virtual Run Challenge website.