Several municipalities and organizations are holding remembrance services Friday, Sept. 11:
WINTER GARDEN. The city of Winter Garden is holding a brief ceremony at 8:30 a.m. to dedicate a permanent monument that remembers the actions of Sept. 11, 2001. Four years ago, the city secured a 700-pound, four-foot section of steel beam from the World Trade Center, and the piece was on display at City Hall.
It now rests in the small park adjacent to the Winter Garden Fire Department Administration building, 1 E. Cypress St. It is displayed on a black granite post that includes a round etched emblem depicting the WTC and three first-responder patches.
The city’s fire and police honor guard will be present, as well as local officials. The four police and fire personnel who drove to New York City in 2011 to retrieve the beam will be there, too: Winter Garden Fire Battalion Chief Brian Sanders, Winter Garden police detective James Cox, Belle Isle Police Officer Tren Trendafilov and former FDNY firefighter Jimmy Brown (who was on duty at nearby Station 10 during 9/11 and is now with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and living in Winter Garden).
WINDERMERE. The town of Windermere is holding a service at 7 p.m. to honor the people who lost their lives on Sept. 11, as well as a celebration of America, all at the 9/11 Memorial at Windermere Town Hall, 520 Main St. Participants will include Mayor Gary Bruhn and other elected officials and local Boy Scout troops. Members of the First Baptist Church of Windermere will provide music.
“I can think of no better way to honor the innocent people who lost their lives that day than a memorial service at dusk before a piece of the World Trade Center that is now an everlasting memorial in their memory,” Bruhn said. “We are going to make this a moving event and also an uplifting experience of hope and healing.”
Eagle Scout Jeff Cox was instrumental in having the 680-pound steel piece brought to Windermere. It sits on a granite pedestal; its perimeter is decorated with tiles, painted by Central Florida Boy Scouts, that represent all the countries that lost someone on Sept. 11.
OCOEE. The New York City Fire Department gave the city of Ocoee a 50-pound piece of steel that has been transformed into a memorial education display. FX Design Group created the piece, and the top can be removed and taken to schools in Ocoee.
The display, when together, stands at 5 feet, 2 inches tall. The base offers 12 different color buttons accessible by remote. It hits more than 16 million different light variations.
This Friday, it will be on display at the Orange County Convention Center. Ocoee Interim Mayor John Grogan will read a 9/11 proclamation at the Sept. 15 City Commission meeting.
GOLDEN POND. Golden Pond Communities is holding a cookout from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to say thank you to first responders for the services they provide the community and residents. Paramedics, police officers, firefighters, military personnel and health care providers are invited to enjoy chicken wings and hamburgers at the assisted-living facility, 402 Lakeview Road, Winter Garden. For more, call (407) 654-7217.
MONTVERDE ACADEMY. Montverde Academy will hold a 9/11 memorial service followed by an international flag-raising ceremony at 8 a.m. on the grounds of the school’s Centennial Plaza. The public is invited to join in acknowledging and celebrating the diversity of students at MVA.
The service will include a moment of silence in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. During the flag-raising ceremony, students from around the world, representing more than 70 countries and 26 American states, will collectively raise their nations’ flags during the outdoor ceremony.
CENTRAL FLORIDA HOTEL & LODGING ASSOCIATION. The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association is holding its annual Patriot Day Breakfast and awards ceremony to honor local first responders. It will take place in the West Concourse Valencia Ballroom at the Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive, Orlando. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., and the breakfast is from 8 to 9:30 a.m.
The keynote speaker is Jack Kemp, former managing director at Morgan Stanley who was working in the World Trade Center South Tower on the day of the attacks. Additionally, several Central Florida “First Responders” will be honored for their life-saving and heroic acts in the last 12 months. More than 600 attendees are expected at this event, including more than 100 regional first-responders.
This community event is open to the public via pre-registration at cfhla.org/patriot-day-breakfast. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door.