The annual Patriot Day observance, which typically draws hundreds to downtown Canton each year will be moved to an online format because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, organizers said. View the ceremony here.

The virtual Patriot Day ceremony, which commemorates the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 is scheduled for 8:46 a.m. on Friday.

The start time for this ceremony reflects the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center 19 years ago. The ceremony, held every year since 2002, is traditionally hosted at Rotary Park in Canton between the Historic Courthouse and the Justice Center. To minimize group gatherings, yet still commemorate the 19th anniversary of 9/11, officials have opted to pre-record the ceremony and present it in a video format.

“We understand some do not want to attend group gatherings, and we wanted to ensure that all who would like to honor this day with us has the chance,” Assistant Fire Chief Eddie Robinson said. “A huge thank you to Justin Webb and everyone who played a role in making this happen. This is always a special event to me, and I’m glad we are able to still commemorate it and share memories of that day.”

This year’s ceremony will feature Sheriff Frank Reynolds, County Fire Chief Tim Prather, Woodstock Fire Chief Dave Soumas, Cherokee 911 Director Priscilla Bridges, Cherokee EMA Director Craig Millsap, Holly Springs Deputy Police Chief Tommy Keheley, Ball Ground Police Chief Bryon Reeves, Canton Police Chief Stephen Merrifield, Woodstock Police Chief Calvin Moss and School District Police Chief Buster Cushing. The ceremony’s invocation will be given by District 2 County Commissioner Ray Gunnin, while Reynolds and Prather will continue the wreath-laying tradition.

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