Crestview all set to observe 9/11

Crestview plans exhibits, dinner and performances on Sept. 11

Brian Hughes | Special to the News Bulletin / USA TODAY NETWORK

CRESTVIEW — To the sounds of big band music and World War II film soundtracks, a quartet of history fans worked with utility knives in a Crestview garage to create stage set pieces for the city’s “Crestview Remembers 9/11” program.

Dottie Dellamorte and Andrew Daigle joke around during a break from carving out set pieces inspired by photos of the collapsed World Trade Center in preparation for the Sept. 11 “Crestview Remembers 9/11” event.

The set pieces — recreations of World Trade Center segments that remained standing after the Twin Towers collapsed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — will provide a sobering display on the stage and will be a backdrop to presentations by young thespians, first responders and civilians.

“Crestview Remembers 9/11” is a program of Mayor J.B. Whitten’s Cultural Series and involves the Crestview High School Theatre Department, the Crestview Police and Fire Departments, the North Okaloosa Fire District, the Main Street Crestview Association, Crestview Area Sister City Program volunteers, a local group of Living History Corps members and others.

History buffs Dottie Dellamorte and Andrew Daigle carve a stage set piece for Saturday’s “Crestview Remembers 9/11” program.

While helping carve the set pieces, Andrew Daigle, a student at the University of West Florida and an avid World War II and Cold War-era re-enactor and history buff, reflected that he was only a toddler when al-Qaeda terrorists flew jetliners into the Twin Towers, Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

“Helping put on this event helps me better understand what happened that day,” Andrew said. “People in my generation don’t remember the attacks from watching them live on TV. This makes me better appreciate what first responders went through during the attacks and afterward.”

More about the 9/11 ceremony

“Crestview Remembers 9/11” includes free exhibitions of vintage first-responder vehicles from the 2001 era, current equipment, images, historic panels and 9/11 artifacts on display in the Crestview Community Center from noon-5 p.m.

At 3 p.m., Crestview High theatre students will present “110 Stories,” a series of monologues by survivors of the World Trade Center attacks. The performance is also free.

At 6 p.m., a Remembrance Dinner features “Spirits of 9/11,” in which first responders and civilians share stories of New York City firefighters and police officers who lost their lives in the attacks. There are a few remaining tickets for the dinner, which cost $35 and are available at City Hall. There will be a cash bar.

As for that big band and WWII film soundtrack music accompanying the creation of 9/11 set pieces, it was a preview for a spring 2022 series of re-enactments coming to Crestview.