Crestview observes 20th anniversary of 9-11

An aerial view shows surrounding buildings heavily damaged by debris and force of the falling twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. (photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Eric J. Tilford)

CRESTVIEW, Fla., Sept. 8, 2021—The City of Crestview has a number of events planned for Patriot Day this Sept. 11.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the twin trade towers in New York City, the Pentagon and the crashing of United Airlines Flight 93 in rural Pennsylvania.

As this date approaches, Crestview Mayor J.B. Whitten fears that for people too young to have witnessed the attacks as they unfolded on live TV or understand the significance and loses of that day, it may only seem like a lesson from a history book.

To help change that perception, a number of events have been scheduled in Crestview.

Throughout the day Saturday, the mayor will host an exhibition of typical first responder vehicles and gear, 9-11 imagery, scrolling lists of the attacks’ nearly 3,000 victims and panel discussions detailing the history of the attacks at the Crestview Community Center, from noon to 5 p.m.

Featured will be a dramatic 3 p.m. performance by the Crestview High School Theatre Department of excerpts from the drama “110 Stories,” which share survivors’ sometimes horrifying, sometimes heroic stories from the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the United Airlines flight that crashed.

The exhibits and student presentation are free to the public.

“We want all our citizens to join us in remembering this tragic moment in our nation’s history,” Whitten said. “It had such a shattering impact on America as a whole.”

The day concludes with a Remembrance Dinner with Crestview firefighters and police officers representing fellow first responders who lost their lives at the World Trade Center in an original Crestview dramatic presentation called “Spirits of 9/11.”

K-9 Officer Nate Marler is one of the Crestview Police Department volunteers who will represent a fallen New York Police officer who gave his life in the World Trade Center towers’ collapse.

For him, honoring a fellow officer is a matter of respecting the profession.

“It’s our honor to in some small way pay tribute and offer remembrance to the brave men and women who selflessly gave their lives in the service of others,” Marler said. “We are thankful for the opportunity to show our respect and gratitude for their sacrifice.”

Tickets for the dinner and “Spirits of 9/11” memorial are $35 per person and are available at City Hall’s Utility Billing windows and at the Crestview Community Center office. They may also be purchased online at www.downtowncrestview.org/events. There is a $1 service fee for online purchases.

Brian Hughes, City of Crestview public information officer

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