LAKEWOOD RANCH — Ten years ago, Americans united in a spirit of patriotism after a terrorist attack on American soil killed nearly 3,000 people.
Residents of Lakewood Ranch and the surrounding community will gather to remember that day, the lives that were taken and how the nation came together in its aftermath, with a special ceremony Sept. 10. Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corp. will host Lakewood Ranch Remembers 9/11 from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 10, at Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch, 5895 Post Blvd.
“This is a very solemn event,” CAC Director Lori Basilone said. “This is to remember and to honor those who risked their lives. It’s such an important day in our history.”
The ceremony will begin with remarks from public officials and will be followed by special music by Braden River Elementary School students, the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem.
The ceremony also will include readings by the East County Observer’s Sept. 11 essay contest winners, a moment of silence and prayer and the dedication of a flagpole and flag raising, and it will conclude with a silent procession of emergency vehicles and a flyover by the U.S. Coast Guard.
“It really has been a community effort,” Basilone said, noting residents and business owners have offered their ideas and help with organizing the event.
The Lakewood Ranch Kiwanis Club’s Key Club students, for example, will put out 2,752 American flags — each representing one life taken in the attacks — prior to the ceremony to give attendees a visual representation of how many people died in the attacks.
Volunteers from Lakewood Ranch’s homeowners associations will place American flags in front of each neighborhood’s marquee at sunset Sept. 9 to help commemorate the event, as well. Flags will be removed at sunset Sept. 11.
“This is really truly going to be a community event without becoming a festival,” said East Manatee Fire Rescue Training and Safety Officer Tim Hyden, who in recent years has organized a Sept. 11 memorial service in Lakewood Ranch and is assisting with this year’s ceremony. “It’s going to bring people together, yet they’re going to leave with what the message was.”
Organizers hope to make the ceremony an annual event, Basilone said.
For more, visit www.lwrcac.com.
EAST COUNTY 9/11 EVENTS
Lakewood Ranch Remembers 9/11
WHEN: 5-8 p.m. Sept. 10
WHERE: Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch, 5895 Post Blvd.
DETAILS: Memorial event includes guest speakers, including Florida House District 67 Rep. Greg Steube and Congressman Vern Buchanan, among others, as well as music, a moment of silence and prayer, a field of flags representing lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard ceremony, the dedication of a flag pole and monument, a silent procession of emergency vehicles and more. The U.S. Coast Guard will provide a flyover. Individuals will be able to donate blood on site, as well.
HOST: Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corp.
9/11 Memorial Service
WHEN: 9 a.m. Sept. 9
WHERE: Braden River High School auditorium, 6546 State Road 70 E., Bradenton
DETAILS: This solemn ceremony for students will include eyewitness reports from people who were there when the World Trade Center twin towers fell Sept. 11, 2001 and video from the day the attacks happened. Service will be broadcasted through EdTV and local television stations, as well. The public is invited to attend.
Fifth Annual Manatee County 9-11 Remembrance Ride
WHEN: Registration 9:30 to 11 a.m. Sept. 11; commencement ceremony from 11 a.m. to noon. Ride starts at noon.
WHERE: Ride leaves from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office parking lot, 600 301 Blvd. W., Bradenton, and ends with a wreath-laying ceremony at Coquina Beach.
DETAILS: This tribute motorcycle ride is to remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and for the brave men and women of the armed forces who are fighting to keep the country safe today. Sen. Mike Bennett, District 67 Florida House Rep. Greg Steube and Rep. Vern Buchanan will be speakers at opening ceremonies from 11 a.m. to noon. The ride will end with a wreath-laying ceremony at the beach. The ride will be escorted by police.
Read more East County 9/11 coverage here.