Fort Walton Police Department and partners hosting Sept. 11 ceremony on 20th anniversary
FORT WALTON BEACH — The Fort Walton Beach Police Department and many other public safety partners will host an emergency/first responder vehicle procession and commemoration ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 11, in honor of the fallen heroes of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic event.
“May we never forget. This rings true each day and even more so as we approach the 20-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on American soil,” Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Robert Bage said in a statement. “Our department, along with our area first responder partners, have put together a fitting ceremony to honor the first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. We invite everyone to witness and be a part of this solemn event, and to help us honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow Americans.”
Another event:Crestview observes 9/11 20th anniversary
The event will begin at 5:50 p.m. with a vehicle procession that begins at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center on Okaloosa Island. The route will follow Miracle Strip Parkway to Perry Avenue, to Eglin Parkway, to Racetrack Road, and end at Joe Ethridge Stadium at Choctawhatchee High School.
The commemoration ceremony begins at 6:20 p.m. at the stadium at 110 Racetrack Road N.W.
The ceremony will include:
- Master of ceremonies Ted Corcoran
- Invocation by Okaloosa County Commissioner Mel Ponder
- Presentation of the colors by the Hurlburt Field honor guard
- National anthem sung by Staff Sgt. Clifton Brown III
- Welcome remarks by Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Robert Bage and Mayor Dick Rynearson
- Remarks by 9/11 survivor Rick DeSantis
- Benediction by Chaplain Marty Mclean
- Music by Emerald Coast Pipes and Drums ("Amazing Grace") and Reid Soria with Autism Sings ("God Bless America")
- Folding of the American flag and three-shot volley by the Fort Walton Beach honor guard
- Tower spotlight and moment of silence
The vehicle procession will include representatives of the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club, the Crestview fire and police departments, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Fort Walton Beach fire and police departments, the Milton Police Department, the Ocean City-Wright Fire Control District, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Okaloosa Island Fire Department and the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.