Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary Club’s 9/11 memorial, shown here undergoing beautification and final preparations before the ceremony, will be the site of the organization’s ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the attacks on Saturday. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary Club’s 9/11 memorial, shown here undergoing beautification and final preparations before the ceremony, will be the site of the organization’s ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the attacks on Saturday. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Reflection and remembrance: Ceremony planned for 9/11 20th anniversary

The memorial will honor the 20th anniversary of the attack with some new improvements.

A local service organization and emergency personnel will honor the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Saturday at Riverside Rotary Park.

The park, dedicated on the first anniversary of the attacks, is laden with symbolism, said Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary Club President Michelle Strickler.

“What we’ve done to recognize the 20th anniversary is, the original memorial plans included a low three-sided wall,” Strickler said. “That was a major part of our plans for the 20th anniversary.”

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The memorial’s design, from its broken pentagon, to the 4-foot-long walls with two missing sides, to the Pennsylvania marble involved in its construction were all chosen with symbolism of the attack in mind.

“Forget-Me-Nots are always placed on the memorial to honor our pledge to never forget,” Strickler said.

The pentagon is also oriented toward the north star, according to a handout prepared by the Rotary Club. The ceremony will also convene at 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, so that guests are in place to honor the fall of the first tower at 9:59 a.m. The ceremony is expected to conclude by 10:15 a.m.

The location was chosen nearly two decades ago as a logical place for a memorial, Strickler said.

“Glacier Valley Rotary has cared for Riverside Rotary Park for many years and it seemed like a natural place for residents to gather,” Strickler said.

Officials from Capital City Fire/Rescue and the Juneau Police Department will also participate in the event, according to social media posts. Trucks from CCFR and an honor guard from JPD will be present, Strickler said. Students from Thunder Mountain’s Interact Club, affiliated with Rotary, helped to clean and prepare the memorial.

Tom Dawson of the American Legion post in Juneau said the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars have no plans for a separate ceremony, but that many members plan to attend the Rotary ceremony.

“We appreciate the community effort to help us all honor our promise to never forget our responders and our Americans lost on that tragic day,” Strickler said. “It’s one of those things that, 20 years later, we want to reflect on this event that drew us together as a nation.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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