HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — In a remembrance ceremony in front of the Hanover Courthouse on Friday the Hanover County community honored first responders who died on September 11, 2001.

Representatives of the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Fire and EMS, and Emergency Communications gathered on Friday, Sept. 9, to read the names of the public safety officers who lost their lives just over 20 years ago.

Cheryl Buchanan, director of Hanover Emergency Communications, introduced the ringing of the bell, a tradition in the Fire Service to call upon personnel or honor lives lost saving others.

Rebekah Turner, Hanover Junior Idol, sang the National Anthem.

Several public officials spoke at the ceremony, including county administrator John A. Budesky, who made the welcoming remarks.

County Administrator John A. Budesky speaks at the Hanover County first responders remembrance ceremony on Sept. 9, 2022. Credit: Kerri O’Brien.

“Today we honor the courage of those who put themselves in harm’s way to save people they never knew,” Budesky said. “21 years ago may seem like a long time, but for the families who lost a piece of their heart that tragic day, for too many I imagine it still seems like just yesterday. No words we offer, or actions we take, can ever take away the pain of their absence.”

“I know that on Sunday many of us will replay that awful day in our minds,” Board of Supervisors chair Angela Kelly-Wiecek added in her own remarks. “But as I have said before, I ask you to recall what came after September 11. The unity, the decency and love we had for one another in the days and weeks that followed.”

Board of Supervisors chair Angela Kelly-Wiecek speaks at the Hanover County first responders remembrance ceremony on Sept. 9, 2022. Credit: Kerri O’Brien.

Also making remarks were Ashland mayor Steve Trivett, Hanover Fire and EMS Chief Jethro H. Piland III, Hanover sheriff Col. David R. Hines and Ashland Police Chief A. Troy Aronhalt.

Hanover County holds this ceremony every year.