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 About Us | Curlew Hills Memory Gardens

9-11 Memorial Service 2021

Highlights of the September 11th, 2021 event include:

Keynote Speaker:Garrett Lindgren, Retired FDNY

Keynote Speaker:
Garrett Lindgren, Retired FDNY

Garrett Lindgren was a New York City Firefighter for 21 years. He was assigned to Rescue Company 3 which covered the Bronx and Harlem.  As a New York State certified Fire Service Instructor, he taught at the F.D.N.Y. Probationary Firefighters School and the Putnam County Fire Service Academy. He was a certified EMT, Rescue Technician, Haz Mat Technician, Municipal Rescue Diver, Apparatus Accident Investigator and a Safety Technician.  He attended New York City Community College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Empire State College. After retiring from the F.D.N.Y. in 2002, Garrett moved to Florida where he supervised a Department of Homeland Security team which maintained an equipment cache designed for deployment as a terrorism response resource.

Garrett is on the board of directors and is a charter member of ‘941 Hero’, a charitable organization that provides assistance to the families of Firefighters who make the supreme sacrifice. He  also serves as a member of the Manatee County Tribute to Heroes committee. He is now retired and lives in Bradenton, Florida with his wife Nancy. He frequently lectures on fire service related topics and assists with fire service related charities.  In addition to his wife Nancy, he has a daughter Kristin and a son Garrett.

John Wilson, Master of Ceremony

The beloved John Wilson retired as prime time news anchor for WTVT, FOX 13 in Tampa in 2014.  He spent 50 plus years in radio and television which earned him three television Emmy Awards for commentaries and TV news broadcasts and awards by the Broadcasters Club of Florida and the Florida Motion Picture and Television Association.  This veteran reporter and anchor covered world-shaking events in Washington, Moscow, The Middle East, France, Haiti, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Romania and Panama. A U.S. Army Veteran, he is Vice President of Wilson Media in St. Petersburg

Musical Guest Lee Greenwood

A legend in country music, Lee Greenwood has had seven #1 songs & 25 charted singles. He has won numerous industry awards including, Male Vocalist of the Year and a Grammy for Top Male Vocal Performance. The CMA also named “God Bless The U.S.A.” its Song of the Year in 1985.

“God Bless the USA” went far beyond what Greenwood expected when he wrote it in the back of his tour bus in 1983. The song has been in the top five on the country singles charts three times (1991, 2001 and 2003), giving it the distinction of being the only song in any genre of music to achieve that feat. It was also #1 on the pop charts after 9/11/01. In addition, CBS News voted “God Bless The U.S.A.” the most recognizable patriotic song in America. The song has also been in several movies and is now part of the film shown by The Department of Homeland Security when new citizens are sworn in to the United States.

Greenwood says; “USA is the song I always felt the need to write. I wanted to have something that would unite Americans from coast to coast and to instill pride back in the United States. The song represents my family, my community and those men and women who have paid the price for the freedoms we all love and enjoy.”

Arrive Early! Event parking is limited. Once parking is full, admission will be closed.

Twin Light Beams Lighting the Sky

On September 9, 10 and 11, from 8 - 10:00 pm, Curlew Hills will display two enormous beams of light projected from the memorial site. The giant twin beams will shine more than 1000 feet in the sky each evening in likeness to the two beams of light that shined in New York City following 9-11. It is a magnificent and emotional sight. Please drive by as they light up the night sky and serve as a beacon of remembrance.
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Facebook Live

In an effort to bring this special event to people everyone, the 9-11 ceremony will be broadcast on Facebook Live.  People from around the world could watch the ceremony as it happens by visiting the Curlew Hills Facebook Page on September 11 at 10 a.m.

A 9/11 Student Essay Contest

Students grades 6 – 8 in Pinellas County are invited to participate in an essay writing contest with the theme "My 9/11 Hero". The first place winner received $500 and the second place winner received $250.  The first place winner will have the opportunity to read his or her essay at the 9/11 ceremony. We hope this essay contest serves as inspiration for students to strengthen their appreciation of the events on September 11th, 2001. Deadline for entries is September 1.

A 9-11 Student Art Display

Students in 4th and 5th grade in nearby elementary schools are invited to create artwork based on the theme “My 9/11 Hero”. Curlew donates $500 to the art department of each participating school. All this original student artwork will be displayed on large boards for everyone to view at the 9/11 Memorial event.  In previous years there were approximately 500 pieces of art displayed. Elementary schools participating this year are Curlew Creek, Ozona, Westlake Christian School and Sutherland.

Other Event Highlights:

Event Attendance:  Approximately 2000

The 9-11 Program also will include: Honor Guards, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Flyover, U.S. Coast Guard Flyover.  Master of Ceremonies will be former Fox 13 TV News Anchor John Wilson. 

This is an outdoor event.  Guests are encouraged to bring sun protection and arrive early to avoid parking delays.

Arrive Early! Parking is limited. Once parking is full, admission will be closed.

9-11 Monument Overview

9-11 Monument Overview

Built in 2012, the one-of-a-kind 9/11 Memorial at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens features twisted piece of steel “floating” in the center, 30 tons of American granite as the towers, and a bright eternal flame at its base.  Surrounding the 9/11 memorial itself are large granite monuments with the engraved names of the firefighters who lost their lives at 9/11 – including the K-9 dog who perished that day. Many of the visitors to the 9/11 Memorial take pencil etchings from these monuments. 

Benghazi Monument– On the pathway leading to the 9/11 memorial is a one-of-a-kind memorial dedicated to the four men who lost their lives in the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012 – Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former navy seals. It is one of only three memorials in the United States honoring the men in the Benghazi attack.

New Rescue & Recovery Workers Monument – This special and one-of-a-kind monument recognizes the Rescue & Recovery Workers who succumbed to their illness as a result of working rescue and recovery at the 9/11 site. Experts predict that the death toll among those sickened by the toxic dust and ash of Ground Zero will exceed the number of people killed on the day of the 9/11 attacks this year. This permanent memorial honors the firefighters, police officers, construction workers, and volunteers who spent time in the rubble of the World Trade Center in the days or months after the attacks and have since died from illnesses related to their honorable work. Each year, at the 9-11 Memorial Event, Curlew Hills will update the number of people on the memorial.

Memorial Bell – The large, beautiful bell that sits adjacent to the 9/11 Memorial has a significant history. It was originally on the last wooden ladder fire truck in New York City. Donated by retired NYC firefighter Joe Daly, the bell was refurbished and now stands at a place of honor in front of the 9/11 Memorial.  It is used during the ceremony for the Tolling of the Bell.