As the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaches this week, a number of ceremonies to commemorate the lives lost are planned across the North Fork.
The traditions will continue amid the coronavirus pandemic that has forced many events to be canceled or scaled back over the past six months.
In Peconic, the annual 9/11 ceremony is scheduled Friday at Cochran Park, hosted by the 9/11 Committee and the Southold Town Fire Chief’s Council. Firefighters from the North Fork departments will take part in the ceremony to place a wreathe, say a prayer and salute.
Supervisor Scott Russell is scheduled to deliver opening remarks at 6:15 p.m. The public is invited to place a flag in the park beginning at 5:15 p.m. The ceremony then begins at 6:30 p.m.
Organizer Tracey Orlando, who greets visitors and hands out the miniature flags, said there will be three stations set up with hand sanitizer for those who wish to place flags. Social distancing and masks will be enforced for anyone who would like to participate, she said.
Eric Biegler of the Sound Park Heights Civic Association in Riverhead said that their ceremony in remembrance of 9/11 will go on as planned.
“This year, we expect people to adhere to social distancing, wear masks. It’s outdoors,” Mr. Biegler said.
The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. with a walk up Park Road to Sound Avenue and a brief service at the park.
“In years past, we’ve had singers … I don’t believe we’re having that this year,” Mr. Biegler said, noting that while the event may be more subdued, it’s still important to hold.
A 9/11 Survivor Tree Planting Ceremony is scheduled for Friday morning at the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office in Riverhead to honor “those brave men and women lost in the 9/11 attacks 19 years ago.”
The event is hosted by Sheriff Errol Toulon and John Feal of the FealGood Foundation. A callery pear tree became known as the “Survivor Tree” after enduring the attack at the World Trade Center.
“Each year, the 9/11 Memorial gives seedlings from the Survivor Tree to three communities so they can nurture them for future generations as a symbol of survival and the triumph over tragedy,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The ceremony will be streamed on Facebook Live.