Responders to hold parade to mark the anniversary of 9/11

Recognizing and remembering are the reasons that area first responders will hold the 2nd Annual Emergency Services Parade on Friday, September 11, 2020. The non-traditional parade, which will move at normal speeds, will start at 6:00 p.m. in downtown Bassett. It will progress through Collinsville on Virginia Avenue, continue through Martinsville on Memorial Blvd, turn right onto Joseph Martin Highway in Ridgeway, and finish at Magna Vista High School. Residents are encouraged to safely line the route to show its support of our first responders.

“The purpose of the parade is to allow the citizens to show its support for their local first responders,” said Suzie Helbert, Deputy Director of Public Safety.  “It will also be a time to reflect and to remember the lives lost and many sacrifices made on September 11, 2001.”

While citizens are encouraged to line the parade route, officials ask that everyone participating also practice social distancing and wear a face mask.

At the conclusion of the parade, an American Flag will be draped between the ladders of two fire trucks from Bassett and Collinsville. The Henry County Honor Guard will ceremonially lay a wreath beneath the flag, and a moment of silence will be recognized.

The memorial will be streamed live on the Department of Public Safety’s Facebook page. Residents are encouraged to participate in the time of remembrance by watching online and not showing up in person.

“It is important to take a moment to reflect and remember the sacrifices that were made on September 11, 2001,” said Public Safety Director Matt Tatum. “But, with the current COVID-related restrictions, we feel it is best that everyone join in virtually.”

The parade will feature vehicles and responders from the eight Volunteer Fire Departments, five Volunteer Rescue Squads, the Department of Public Safety, Martinsville City Fire/EMS, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Martinsville Police Department, Martinsville Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, and the Martinsville-Henry County 911 Communications Center.