The Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial in Sunbury will host its 13th annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony on Sept. 8.
It’s a chance to honor Gold Star Families — the 288 service people from Ohio who gave their lives to protect the nation after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 — with a luncheon. One hundred or more family members often attend.
At 4:30 p.m., the public is invited to join those families at the memorial, 79 1/2 West Cherry St., for the ceremony.
“It’s a good civics lesson in my mind to teach your kids why we’re in Afghanistan,” said Neal Kruse, the president and site manager of the OFHM. “You remember when it (the attacks) happened, but juniors and seniors in high school weren’t born yet. We’re kind of promoting it as an opportunity for people to go someplace and remember 9/11, the impact that it’s had on the nation, and particularly people from Ohio.”
The ceremony will feature students from Harrison Street Elementary singing the National Anthem, a 21-gun salute, Taps played by a bugler and bagpiper, raising and lowering of the flag, the reading of all the names and bell-ringing.
Speakers include Sunbury resident Jack Reall, a Sunbury resident and Deputy Fire Chief Columbus Fire Division and part of the Ohio Task Force One Search and Rescue Team who was at the World Trade Center site on Sept. 12; Jerry Jodrey, Commander at VFW Post 8736 of Sunbury; Delaware County Commissioner Barb Lewis; Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield; and main speaker, Brigadier Gen. (Retired) Rufus Smith.
VFW members will stand watch over the markers of the fallen from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning.
During the ceremony, family members will be permitted to sit in a tent, and there may be limited seating available to the public depending on the weather. Otherwise, be prepared to stand.
“This event is being sponsored by the Delaware Fraternal Order of Eagles 376,” Kruse said. In February, the post on William Street in Delaware presented the OFHM with a $2,500 check, collected from bingo proceeds. “Th
e money they gave us was specifically earmarked to promote this event.”
Kruse said that if one hasn’t attended the ceremony before, he warns that it is moving, especially when the names of the fallen are called and answered with a response of “absent,” and a bell is rung in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the War on Terrorism.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.