Westerville News & Public Opinion

Remembrances of Sept. 11

Ceremony, run invite residents to reflect


As they do each year, Westerville city officials and residents will pause to remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

The annual remembrance ceremony, organized by the city's police and fire chaplain corps, will take place at noon Wednesday, Sept. 11, at First Responders Park, 374 W. Main St.

Local musician Eric Gnezda will provide music before the ceremony, beginning at 11:45 a.m.

The theme of this year's ceremony will be "Remembering the Past and Embracing the Future."

Participants will include the Westerville police and fire honor guards, police and fire chaplains and the Westerville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7883.

Another event of remembrance, the second annual Travis A. Manion 9/11 Run, will be held at 9 a.m. Sept. 7 at Alum Creek Park North, 221 W. Main St.

The race is one of 41 5K races across the country organized by the Travis Manion Foundation and dedicated to those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks and those who have served in military action since.

The race will be preceded by a ceremony remembering the victims of Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m. Ohio National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Steve Shepherd will be the keynote speaker. Race organizers Tom Ullom and Steve Robbins also will offer remarks. A bagpiper will perform.

An outdoor display of the Lima Company Memorial: Eyes of Freedom will be available for viewing. The memorial depicts 23 members of the Ohio company who were killed while serving in Iraq.

Proceeds from the race will benefit the Westerville Fire Fighters Memorial Fund, which offers scholarships to Westerville students pursuing careers as firefighters or medics, and the Travis Manion Foundation.

In honor of a U.S. Marine who was killed on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2007, the foundation provides "Challenge Grants" to survivors of fallen heroes, active members of the military, veterans and military family members to further their education, complete service projects, meet physical challenges and more, and it offers the "Character Does Matter" leadership program for young people.