Battleship Cove to mark 9/11 anniversary with 21-gun salute

Marc Munroe Dion

When you hear the big guns boom over Battleship Cove Tuesday, you will remember.

That’s the hope of the people organizing today’s 9/11 remembrance ceremony, on the sixth anniversary of the attack that killed more than 3,000 Americans and changed the way the United States relates to the world.

“We do it every year,” said Jack Casey, a spokesman for Battleship Cove. “This year, Sept. 11 falls on a Tuesday, as it did that year.”

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. just outside the ship’s store gift shop at Battleship Cove.

“We’re going to begin with a welcome and the national anthem, right outside the ship’s store,’ Casey said, adding that Fall River Fire Department Chaplain Rev. Monsignor Thomas Harrington will offer a prayer at that time.

The ceremony will continue on the USS Massachusetts.

Battleship Cove has a special duty to host such events, Casey said. It's the Bay State’s official memorial to those Massachusetts citizens who were victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Battleship Cove is also the state’s official memorial to Massachusetts citizens who lost their lives during World War II and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars.

After the initial welcome and prayer, participants and the public will make their way onto the battleship.

“We’ll line up the color guards from the Fall River police and fire departments,” Casey said.

A wreath will be cast over the side of the ship to memorialize those who died in the attacks.

“We hope to have one person from both the police and fire department to put the wreath over the side together,” Casey said.

Putting on this type of event is a great responsibility, Casey said and Battleship Cove makes sure the ceremony is tailored to the needs of its most important constituency.

“We work very closely with the families of the victims of 9/11,” he said.

Casey stressed that the ceremony is not meant solely for public safety personnel and those who lost someone on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Any member of the public is welcome at memorial events at Battleship Cove,” Casey said.

After the wreath is cast over the side, the ship’s big guns will blast 21 times.

E-Mail Marc Munroe Dion of The Herald News (Fall River, Mass.) at mdion@heraldnews.com.