Prosper Fire Department will once again host its annual 9-11 ceremony from 7:30-9 a.m Sept. 11 at Prosper Town Hall, 250 W. First St.
"I think it should be important to all towns and all cities nationwide," Prosper Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame said. "We promised ourselves back in 2001… that we will never forget, and so I think it’s important that we continue with that."
Along with the ceremony on Friday, there will be a two-day blood drive starting on Sept. 10.
The blood drive, held in conjunction with Carter BloodCare, will take place at Prosper Community Library, 200 S. Main St., from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sept. 10-11.
"We did that for the first time last year and it was an overwhelming success," Blasingame said.
Individuals can sign up and make a reservation to donate blood via a link on the town’s website, at prospertx.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2020-Blood-Drive-Flyer.pdf.
There will be more than just a blood drive during the ceremony: The town has a relic from 9-11 that will be the focal point of the event.
"We have … to our knowledge the only mobile memorial in the state of Texas for the World Trade Center," Blasingame said. "It’s a little more than 7,000-pound piece of one of the steel beams that was in one of the two towers."
The town has had the piece - the fruit of a cross-country road trip - for eight or nine years, Blasingame said.
"We actually went to New York City," he explained. "We drew straws and three of us went with three members from the Plano Fire Department, rented a flatbed truck and drove to New York."
While the ceremony will be a time for remembrance, the fire department will take precautions to keep people safe.
"We’ll be asking for people to wear masks and keep social distancing and everything we’re required to do right now," Blasingame said.
In spite of the pandemic and its requirements, the fire chief still felt it was important to hold the ceremony.
"I kind of felt like if we didn't do this, then who’s going to do it?" he said. "If we don’t remember, who’s going to remember?
"We just felt like we wanted to still continue to remember September the 11th, but just to try to do it a little safer."
This year has been different from others in a lot of ways, however Blasingame is positive about the future.
"I can’t say that [this year] hasn’t come without its challenges," he said. "This is only our new normal for today, it’s not going to last forever.
"Our residents support us wholeheartedly and we have a great relationship," he said. "As a fire department and as a community, we’ll get through this together."