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Lake County Sentinel
Wickliffe to hold 9/11 tribute on 20th Anniversary at Liberty Gardens    
(WICKLIFFE, OH) – For the “Greatest Generation” of Americans December 7th, 1941, was a day that will live in infamy as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in a speech after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. For the generations who were alive on September 11, 2001, it is a day that is burned into our minds as the single most tragic day for the United States of America since 1941.

As we all know to well, two planes (American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines 175) flew into the World Trade Center in New York City at 8:46:40 and 9:02:57 a.m. bringing the twin towers down. Another plane (American Airlines Flight 77) struck the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia at 9:37:46 a.m. and finally a fourth plane (United Airlines Flight 93) that was originally directed by the hijackers to hit either the U.S. Capitol or the White House turned around over Lake Erie and went down in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. as the passenger heroes on board fought the hijackers for control of the aircraft.

2,996 people lost their lives in the attack which still stands as the deadliest terror attack in world history.
None of the victims from that day should ever be forgotten, especially the first responders at all the sites. On that day 344 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officials and 55 military personnel lost their lives on that fateful day in September.

In 2003 the city of Wickliffe erected Liberty Gardens with monuments and flags paying tribute to victims of 9/11 on the north side of Euclid Avenue between Lloyd Road and Rockefeller Road.

Although Liberty Gardens is a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 attack there has never been an organized service on September 11 since the park’s dedication in 2003. That will change in 2021.

Ward 2 Councilman Randy Gerhardstein owns a business across the street from Liberty Gardens and it has bothered him every year that there has not been a ceremony to mark the date. Gerhardstein had a large list of things he wanted to get done if he won the council seat that he ran for in last year’s special election. Gerhardstein has been in office a little less than six months and all the items on the list have been checked off. He told The Sentinel in reference to the upcoming ceremony at Liberty Gardens and his goal to make it a reality, “If I don’t do anything else, I will accomplish the 9/11 ceremony.”

The military and first responders like the police and fire fighters is something that Gerhardstein feels very strongly about and that they should be recognized.
On 9/11 (Saturday) 2021, the Wickliffe High School band will march down to Liberty Gardens and the WHS choir will join them as these young people, none of whom were born on that day 20 years ago will pay tribute to the lives lost on that day. The ceremony will begin at 9:00 a.m.

2021 also marks the 100th anniversary of the Wickliffe Fire Department. Wickliffe Fire Chief Jim Powers will be the primary speaker and is organizing the event. Also, the Wickliffe American Legion Rifle Guard will also perform at the ceremony.

Further details on the tribute will be released later.

The ceremony is meant to honor the 471 first responders and passengers of flight 93, many of whom knew when they faced the danger that day they probably would not survive, but they faced it head on like true heroes.
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @TBBucsTim 
​POSTED 06/11/2021 16:50