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East County Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021 1 year ago

Lakewood Ranch will host 9/11 memorial

Main Street at Lakewood Ranch hosts a special 9/11 event including guest speakers and music.
by: Jay Heater Managing Editor

Monaca Onstad, the director of community relations for Lakewood Ranch Communities, understands that Sept. 11, 2001 was a sad time in the nation's history.

But she quickly adds that it is an event that brought the citizens together.

Onstad has put together the 9/11 Day of Remembrance event at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch that she hopes brings the community together. She said she wanted to keep the event simple.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Sept. 11, The Out-of-Door Academy orchestra will perform, followed by guest speakers that will include former New York City firefighter Steve Lubrino, who worked the disaster scene at the World Trade Center in New York City.

Three thousand American flags will be installed at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch and a 6-foot tall by 4-foot wide cube will be placed near the Main Street fountain Sept. 2 so that anyone who would like to write their memories or feelings about 9/11 can do so on the cube with markers that will be provided.

Onstad said it might be a good time to bring children to experience 9/11 history.

"It's been 20 years, so a lot of kids today might not know as much as we think they do," she said. "It was such a sad time in our history, but we want to honor and remember that time. It's about who we are as a country and it's about us coming together. It's a time for people to remember what happened."

Onstad said she came up with the idea for the cube because "sometimes it's the small things that matter. Signing a message can be impactful."

Lubrino will talk briefly about what he encountered at the site.

"It's a tough thing to talk about," he said. "But it's history, and we should hear the different stories. I want the younger generations to know what this country, what my friends, what my brothers, went through."

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