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COVID-19 changing how CNY communities mark Sept. 11 anniversary

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News (file photo)
Foreman Park in Syracuse

The coronavirus pandemic is changing how communities mark the annual anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

There won’t be many gatherings to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the attacks, but there will be ceremonies. The Syracuse Police Department will host its annual memorial at Foreman Park, that includes the Fire Department, mayor’s office and the Onondaga County Executive's office. The public is asked to stay away to avoid violating COVID restrictions. 

The Town of DeWitt will host its annual event that is generally well attended, but closed to the public this year. The bagpipes, taps and commemoration speeches will be limited to participants.

"We’ll miss having the public there of course, but this is what we need to do for the safety and well-being of everybody," said DeWitt town spokeswoman Kelly Grace Smith.

DeWitt will livestream the ceremony on its Facebook page, and a recording will be available afterward.  Smith is looking beyond this year's COVID-curtailed event to next year, which will mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

"We are very much looking forward to that for the hopefulness that COVID will not be the major factor it is now, and we can have a ceremony that’s a somber remembrance, but in a sense a celebration that we can be in community and with one another again," she said.

Other communities are holding in-person ceremonies, with guidelines in place. The city of Oswego will hold a ceremony at 8:30 a.m., followed by the unveiling of a new monument to honor those lost in the terror attacks. Oswego is limiting its ceremony to 50 people, with masks required.

The Village of Phoenix is holding its annual vigil in Henley Park at 6:30 p.m.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.