June 11th - Three Months Before September 11th Remembrance Ceremony

This is the most important date - the decision of whether or not a September 11th Remembrance Ceremony will be held.

If the decision is yes, then the scope of the ceremony is determined and assignments are made.

Some areas to be discussed:
* how large will the ceremony be?
* will it be strictly a fire department ceremony, or will other public safety and military organizations be part of it?
* will other fire departments be involved?

*co-ordinator / facilitator
*taps player(s)
*bell ringer
*flag raiser/lowerer
*officer to give commands
*clergy / prayer reader(s)
*publicity (public information officer)
*collation supervisor (if coffee, donuts, etc will be served after ceremony)

Of all tasks listed above, perhaps the most important is the first listed - co-ordinator / facilitator. It is suggested that two people be assigned this task. Each year one is replaced so there is an overlap of experience, plus redundancy if one person is not available at a given time (based on the nature of the fire service). This position keeps track of assignments, re-allocates resources, and basically keeps the projects(s) on track. The meetings leading up to the actual September 11th Remembrance Ceremony become progress reports of the co-ordinator / facilitator.

At this first meeting the scope of the ceremony, and what it will take to have that ceremony is determined.

Some of the questions that may be discussed are:
*will it be a simple ceremony for department members only, a major ceremony with invited guests, full news coverage, or something in between?
*will other public safety organizations, military and military support organizations (VFW, American Legion, etc.) be invited to be part of the ceremony?
*will relatives and friends of public safety and military members killed in the attacks invited to speak, if that is their desire?
*what are the logistical concerns - place for ceremony, available parking, etc
*are permissions needed for use of the ceremony area, parking, raising / lowering the flag, etc.
*how will the ceremony be publicized? For a list of potential methods see "Getting the Message Out", below.
*will a program be given out at the ceremony? What will it say?

Based on all of the above a schedule must be developed listing each action, the time it starts and who does it.

Contingencies and backups are available for a number of functions (See "Contingencies", below for complete discussion)
* taps - if a live person (or persons) is not available, taps may be down-loaded and played on a "boom-box" from an out-of-site location.
* bells - if a bell is not available consider the use of a church bell, or download our version of the tolling of the four fives.
* inclement weather - what to do if the ceremony is moved indoors.

This is also a good time to carefully look at the flag that will be used in the ceremony:
* is in in good condition? If not, start the process to replace it. After it is replaced refer to disposal of American flags as stated in the US Flag Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8(k): "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning"
* is there another flag available to use instead of the existing one that has added significance (possibly a flag that has flown in a war zone)(Also see "Flag Protocol", below)

Related Material

Getting the Message Out

July 11th - Two Months Before September 11th.

August 11th - One Month Before September 11th.

September 4th - One Week Before September 11th.

September 10th - One Day Before September 11th.

September 11th - the day of the Ceremony.

September ?? - the follow-up meeting.


Flag Protocol

Background / Historical Information

Thanks to all that helped


Teacher Resources