OSCODA – Our country is approaching the 20-year mark since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., which claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people. The nation was forever changed that day and among the loss were things which won’t ever be replaced. But, what can never be stripped from the land of the free and the home of the brave, is our steadfast patriotism and unity.
Throughout Iosco County this weekend, some scheduled events won’t be as directly related, but other tributes have been planned specifically in recognition of those who lost their lives on 9/11, as well as those who fought and continue to fight for our freedom.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, the Iosco-Arenac District Library (IADL) will host a 9/11 Commemorative Exhibit, at the Robert J. Parks Library branch in Oscoda.
Together with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, the library will be exhibiting a chronological sequence of posters covering the attack on the twin towers until the current global war on terror, beginning today (Wednesday). The display will remain at the library until Friday, Oct. 8.
The 9/11 Memorial opened on the 10th anniversary of the attacks and the 9/11 Memorial Museum opened in 2014. Both are located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center (WTC) site.
The 9/11 attacks killed 2,753 people in New York, 184 people at the Pentagon and 40 people on Flight 93. Additionally, the Memorial honors the six people killed in the February 26, 1993 WTC bombing.
The exhibition consists of a series of 14 posters presented in chronological sequence describing the events of Sept. 11. Archival imagery, artifact photography, individual stories and explanatory text depict this key moment in American history.
The IADL received one set of a limited number of pre-printed posters from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
“People vividly remember where they were and what they were doing on 9/11. It is always interesting to me the number of people who comment how quiet [the] night of 9/11 was due to air space being closed,” said IADL Community Liaison Librarian Arleen Wood.
According to staff, this exhibition is free and open to the public. The Parks Library is located at 6010 N. Skeel Ave.
“We will be collecting personal stories of anyone who wishes to participate and contribute to the efforts of the 9/11 Museum in commemorating this key moment in history,” added Head Librarian Robin Savage.
On Saturday, Sept. 11, the Parks Library will be serving free coffee to firefighters, police, emergency response teams and anyone else who contributes to the safety of our country.
On this same day, The Northeast Michigan Veteran’s Memorial Park (VMP), also located in Oscoda, will hold a public ceremony to honor the lives lost.
The ceremony will take place at the Circle of Flags, with a display of 2,977 United States flags for those who died on 9/11. The event will begin at 9 a.m., with the National Anthem being sung by Dan and Danny Althouse. An invocation by Dr. James Kent, a moment of silence and the performance of “Amazing Grace” will follow.
VMP Co-Director Joe Brinn encourages attendees to stay after the ceremony for exciting news about what’s going on at the Pentagon Service Monument.
“Hopefully you will be able to see it happen in person if the logistics hold up to our expectations,” said Brinn.
The VMP is located at 4000 N. Skeel Ave.
Also slated for this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon, is a Veterans Breakfast hosted by the Knights of Columbus Council 2709 and the Iosco County Veterans Affairs Office, in association with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
All veterans and their families/significant others are welcome and encouraged to attend the breakfast, which will be held in Rushman Hall, at 821 Newman St. in East Tawas.
The menu will consist of eggs, pancakes, potatoes, sausage, coffee, juice and desserts.
If transportation is needed to and from the event, contact Veterans Service Officer Ron Whitney at 362-6571.
Another free meal will be offered to area heroes this Sunday, Sept. 12, at American Legion Post 422 in Hale. The venue is located one block west of the traffic light, at 429 W. Main St.
According to Marlene Polishak, the Legion will be honoring fire, police and EMS personnel in Iosco County, as well as their families, for their service to the community.
They will all be treated to a free breakfast starting at 9 a.m., which usually runs until noon, and the first responders will also receive certificates of appreciation.
While not designated as a public event, East Tawas Fire Department members will also be paying homage to those who gave their lives on Sept. 11, by climbing the stairs of the Bay Park Tower buildings in memory of the fallen firefighters.