Park, Lake to host 20th anniversary of 9/11

Different logos

As the nation pauses briefly to observe the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Lake Waccamaw and the Veterans Memorial Park are coming together for a major event to commemorate Patriot’s Day.

Beginning at 8 a.m., Elizabeth Brinkley Park will host a series of events up into the evening.  The morning will begin with a 5K run, and the Freedom Isn’t Free motorcycle run from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. 

The 5K is sponsored by Nautilus Gym and the Town of Lake Waccamaw. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages ten to 17 years old, and free through age nine. 

The motorcycle run is sponsored by Randy Norris and the Military Vet Riders Association Members. The cost of entry is $20. 

A parade will take place at 1 p.m. to honor rescue, fire, law enforcement, and veterans for military and first responders, and $10 for the general public.  

Organizer Angela Norris said the hunt is currently on for vendors, food vendors, and entertainment for the event. A kid’s corner will feature face painting, and a Freedom Rocks station where the little ones can decorate their own rocks with patriotic themes.

A ceremony will take place in the evening with guest speakers, and the lighting of luminaries to end the day.  

The 15.52-acre Veterans Memorial Park of America, located on U.S. 701 South, is being constructed to honor past, present, and future veterans for their service to the country. Efforts to build the park began in 2013. The park honors all veterans, whether they served in reserves of active duty, wartime or peace.  

T-shirts are available for purchase ahead of the event for $20. They come in ash gray, and range from sizes youth small to 4XL. The front of the shirt reads “Freedom Isn’t Free,” and displays fire, police, and EMS logos. The back features the Twin Towers-Flight 175, the Pentagon-Flight 77, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania- Flight 93, and reads “September 11, 2001. A Day to Never Forget.” 

All proceeds from the community event and t-shirts sales will go toward the construction and instillation of the 9/11 Memorial, at the Never Forget Garden, in the Veterans Memorial Park of America.  Students from the Columbus College and Career Academy masonry department will participate in the memorial’s construction.  

For more information on the event, to participate as a vendor, donate, or to purchase t-shirts, you can visit the Veteran’s Memorial Park of America Facebook page, or call Angela Norris at 910.840.3848.  

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About Jefferson Weaver 1386 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at