BELL COUNTY — Area fire departments and police departments will remember the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York City and Washington, D.C., in several different ways.
The Belton Police-Clergy Partnership is hosting a brief remembrance ceremony at 7:45 a.m. today at the police memorial, city spokesman Paul Romer said Friday.
The Belton Fire Department has a small ceremony planned to begin at 8:46 a.m., which was when the first plane struck the World Trade Center, but people attending are asked to arrive at Fire Station No. 2 by 8:30 a.m.
The department down-scaled this year’s participation in 9/11 observances because it has become increasingly difficult for the department to participate in all of them, Romer said. Instead, the firefighters will remain at their stations to think about the commitment and sacrifices fellow firefighters made in 2001.
Temple Fire & Rescue is hosting a service at 8:55 a.m. at Central Fire Station, 210 N. Third St.
The service starts with an opening statement by Fire Chief Mitch Randles, followed at 8:59 a.m. by the ringing of the bell to mark the collapse of the World Trade Center south tower. After a moment of silence, the honor guard will present and post the colors.
A recitation of the timeline of that day will be followed by a second ringing of the bell to mark the north tower’s collapse.
Ringing the bell is a fire department custom that commemorates a line of duty death.
An observation planned by the Bell County Bar Association begins at 7:30 p.m. today at the Bell County Courthouse at 101 W. Central Ave. Local fire, police, EMS agencies and military members will speak, and the national anthem will be sung.
At 7:40 p.m., observers will walk to the police memorial at the Belton Police Department at 711 E. Second Ave.
Candles will be lit at 8 p.m., followed by a moment of silence and taps.
The 12th annual Freedom Walk in Killeen is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. today.
The event begins in the Killeen High School auditorium and continues with a processional to adjacent Leo Buckley Stadium and a walk to celebrate freedom. It ends with Gold Star family members releasing balloons.
Killeen Police Department Chief Charles Kimble is set to speak, along with Killeen Independent School District Superintendent John Craft. Students from each of the school district’s four high schools will also participate.
Police units from Killeen, Harker Heights, Nolanville and Killeen ISD will join military personnel and other local officials.