A Charlotte County 9/11 Ceremony has been postponed due to COVID

Published: September 7, 2021 5:39 PM EDT
Updated: September 7, 2021 7:40 PM EDT

A 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony in Charlotte County has been postponed due to COVID-19. The decision to cancel came from a surge warning inside hospitals. Organizers were worried there could be an outbreak of the virus at the event.

Shannon Mesenburg found herself, like many of you, glued to her tv screen on 9/11. Her eyes were fixated on the World Trade Center North Tower. She used to work on the 91st floor.

“I just sat there for hours because I can’t imagine sitting on the floor at our desk and seeing a plane coming at you,” said Mesenburg.

Twenty years later, groups across Charlotte County planned to gather to honor the lives lost in New York City, at the Pentagon and in that field in Pennsylvania.

Charlotte County announced that it must postpone Saturday’s remembrance ceremony that was set to be held at William R. Gaines Jr. Veterans Memorial Park. The county says the reason is the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

A county spokesperson says they didn’t want to risk exposing law enforcement officers and first responders who were slated to speak at and attend the event to the virus.

Officials also say that with such crowded hospitals, this was probably the best course of action to protect the numbers from rising.

However, a handful of other events are still happening this weekend in Charlotte County. Michael Schwartz is the vice commander of American Legion Post 110. “Lives were lost. Lives were gone. Just all of a sudden,” Schwartz said.

We remember all these things that for the people that had passed, and we have members here, who were there at 9/11,” Schwartz said. 

We have to keep their memories alive, that their lives mattered, and not just to their families, but to this country,” said Mesenburg.

Charlotte County Government says it plans to reschedule the event when case numbers go down and it is deemed safe to do so.

The other events happening in Charlotte County to honor 9/11 victims this weekend are as follows:

  • Friday, Sept. 109/11 Blue Mass
    8 a.m., Sept. 10
    St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church
    1441 Spear St., Port Charlotte
  • Saturday, Sept. 11
    9/11 Commemoration
    9:30 a.m., Sept. 11
    Englewood Freedom Pavilion and Veterans Memorial
    641 W. Dearborn St., Englewood
  • 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony
    10 a.m., Sept. 11
    Military Heritage Museum
    900 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda
  • Patriot Day 9/11 Commemoration
    11 a.m., Sept. 11
    American Legion Post 110
    3152 Harbor Blvd., Port Charlotte
  • 9/11 Ceremony
    11 a.m., Sept. 11
    Veterans Memorial Park
    3436 Indiana Road, Rotonda West
  • 9/11 Flag Ceremony
    12 p.m., Sept. 11Englewood AmVets Post 777
    3386 N. Access Road, Englewood