LOWER MAKEFIELD >> Two ceremonies will take place this year at the Garden of Reflection marking the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
With the twin fountains of the Garden as the backdrop, a morning and an evening ceremony will commemorate the anniversary and remember the 2,977 people who died that day when terrorists hijacked planes and launched a coordinated attack against the United States.
Planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan and another plane was flown into the Pentagon. A fourth plane, Flight 93, crashed into a field in Western Pennsylvania after passengers stormed the cockpit.
Bucks County was hit particularly hard, losing 18 residents, including nine who called Lower Makefield home.
They are remembered at the Garden of Reflection, a quiet, solemn place in Lower Makefield where twin fountains cascade toward the heavens and the names of 2,977 souls are etched into a series of glass panels embracing a serene and contemplative reflection pool.
The planning, design and construction of the memorial was spearheaded by Bucks County’s 9-11 families who wanted a local place to remember and reflect on the lives lost that day in New York City, western Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
On September 11 beginning at 8:30 a.m., a Remembrance Ceremony will mark the chronological events of that tragic sun-drenched Tuesday morning and remember and honor those that were lost with music, prayer and reflection.
In the evening beginning at 7 p.m., A Night of Healing and Hope will bathe the memorial in a sea of flickering light during a candlelight ceremony encircling the reflection pool and fountain.
“We want to thank our community for an overwhelming show of support and kind words to the victims’ families always, but especially during this time,” reads a message to the community on the garden’s website inviting the public to attend the observances.
The Garden of Reflection, Pennsylvania’s official 9/11 Memorial, has become a sacred place where the community can honor, remember and celebrate the lives lost on that day.
Designed by Yardley architect Liuba Lashchyk AIA, the memorial invites visitors on a walking Memorial Journey from darkness and the sorrowful reminders of tragedy and grief to light and the luminous symbols of hope, Peace and Celebration of Life.
In addition to attending the ceremonies, the community is invited to participate in the 16th Annual Garden of Reflection 5K Run on Sunday, Sept. 15 at the garden.
The 5K Run/Walk, now in its 16th year, raises money for an endowment established to preserve the memorial for future generations. Thanks to the 5K’s generous sponsors and participants, the race has raised more than $190,000 for the endowment fund.
The USATF Certiﬁed: PA16001LMB 5K Run and 5K Walk is slated to step off at 9 a.m. at the Garden of Reflection Memorial.
In addition, a Virtual Challenge takes from Friday, September 13 to Monday, September 16. Over the course of the challenge, participants can run or walk as many miles as they choose anywhere, anytime, any distance, any pace and any number of days.
Registration for run and walk takes place online or on race day from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. The cost is $30 (pre-registration) or $35 (race day). The cost of the Virtual Challenge is $30 or $45 for both the 5K and Virtual Challenge. For information, call 215-630-6655.
Each participant will receive an exclusive, custom designed collectable Garden of Reflection memorial medal and ribbon. Limited quantities will be produced. A new medal is designed and produced each year, so this will be a highly collectable item. The medal will be mailed to all Virtual Challenge participants following the challenge.
There’s also a chance to win lots of great prizes (most miles recorded, age/gender prizes, random prizes, etc.).
The Garden of Reflection is located at Memorial Park on Woodside Road in Lower Makefield Township. For more about the garden, visit 9-11MemorialGarden.org.