BOSTON (CBS) – The 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks had a different look Friday than in previous years because of the coronavirus pandemic. Remembrance ceremonies in Massachusetts were mostly pre-recorded and streamed online.
STATE HOUSE CEREMONY
They began at 8:30 a.m. in Boston with the annual event at the State House led by Gov. Charlie Baker. The American flag was lowered and there was a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. to mark the exact time the first plane crashed in Manhattan.
Then, the names of all 206 people with ties to Massachusetts who were killed that day were read aloud in video that was pre-recorded this year.
“Mostly what I want to just say today, especially to all the families who’ve gathered who’ve lost loved ones, is we made a commitment here in Massachusetts that we would never forget you and we would never forget your loved ones,” Baker said in a pre-recorded statement.
“I hope by continuing to gather, even if it’s virtually as we’re doing this year, we’re sending a message loud and clear that almost 20 years later we have not forgotten and we will never forget the loss and sacrifice of so many on that terrible, tragic, awful day.”
A short time later, the Madeline Sweeney Award for Bravery was given to 49-year-old Chris Etre of Upton, who saved a teenage girl from a car that crashed and sunk into the Quinsigamond River in December 2019.
Sweeney was a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to leave Logan Airport and crash into one of the World Trade Center towers in lower Manhattan. She called a ground supervisor and relayed information about the hijackers to investigators.
The ceremony ended with a pre-recorded wreath laying ceremony at the 9-11 Memorial in the Boston Public Garden, led by Mayor Marty Walsh.
FALLEN FIREFIGHTERS MEMORIAL
Later on Friday, the annual memorial ceremony at the Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial will be streamed online at 5 p.m.
Also in Boston, the annual American Red Cross 9/11 Day of Service Blood Drive is being held at a different location this year.
It’s usually held at Fenway Park, but with all the coronavirus safety protocols in place, organizers had to move it to Big Night Live on Causeway Street near the TD Garden.
Because of social distancing guidelines, you will need to make an appointment and donors will have to pass a health screening before they come in. You will also have to wear a mask the entire time.
The blood drive will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To make an appointment go to redcrossblood.org or call 1 800 Red Cross.