While the events of September 11, 2001, affected the entire country, there was an extra significance for those in the New York City and Pentagon sites. Members of the Stafford Sheriff’s Office assisted in both New York City and the Pentagon in the days following the tragedy. Leaders wanted to honor the emergency services professionals who made the ultimate sacrifice in trying to help the victims of 9/11 as well as remember the civilian lives lost. Stafford County has held an annual bell ringing ceremony since the year after 9/11.
“You won’t find a closer-knit group than public safety professionals. We lost brothers and sisters that day,” said Stafford Fire and Rescue Chief Joseph Cardello. “This is our way of honoring their service and sacrifice as well as remembering that there are still folks getting up every day, ready to rush into dangerous situations to help someone.”
The ceremony takes place near the entrance to the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center at 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA, at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11. Chief Cardello will perform the bell ringing ceremony which involves five tolls, a signal that traditionally marked the safe return of firefighters to the station. The bell ringing is also used at funerals for fire and rescue personnel.
Chief Cardello, Sheriff David Decatur and Board of Supervisors Chairman Meg Bohmke will be the featured speakers. The public is invited to attend. Order of events is listed below.
Order of Events
Welcome – Chairman Bohmke
Presentation of Colors – Mixed Fire and Rescue/Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard
Remarks – Chairman Bohmke
Remarks – Sheriff Decatur
Remarks and story of bell ringing – Chief Cardello
Bell Ringing Ceremony
Taps – Sheriff’s Office
Thank you – Chief Cardello