JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Due to concerns about large gatherings., Jacksonville’s Patriot Day 9/11 Observance is virtual this year.  

This observance was designated as the Jacksonville community’s official observance since 2006. 

“The 9/11 ceremony was started because we did not want our community to forget,” said Executive Director of Onslow United Transit System Carol Long. 

Online Originals: Grainger Stadium to host 9/11 memorial

The event features a former New York City police officer who was on duty during 9/11 and a Marine officer who was at the Pentagon that day as well. It’s hosted by the Onslow Civic Affairs Committee, Onslow County and the City of Jacksonville. The observance is also supported by Camp Lejeune.  

“A lot of our Marines have gone and fought over there. So, this is a community-wide effort with our 9/11 ceremony,” said Long.  

‘Field of Honor’ helping shine a light on local heroes

Members of the Onslow Civic Affairs Committee presented various tableaus representing those killed in the September 11 attacks. Local first responders and rescue personnel as well as military members represented those that were killed in rescue and in response to the events after 9/11.  

“It’s very meaningful, it is very solemn. And (Thursday), I think when we were filming it for Saturday, it was very emotional because it was a 20-year anniversary,” said Long. 

The observance was held at the World Trade Center beam at Lejeune Memorial Gardens. They also included the 13 service members who were killed in the recent bombings in Afghanistan, including Sgt. Nicole Gee, who was stationed at Camp Lejeune.  

“It means a great deal, especially to some of the families who have lost someone over there,” said Long. 

Dr. Don Herring, chairman of the Onslow Civic Affairs Committee, explained what this means to the community.  

“This means so much for our community, because first of all, our military connection. And also because of our large and diverse community,” said Herring.  

The full video will premiere on both the city and county social media pages Saturday at 8 am.