Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQs About the 2021 Remembrance Activities
Because of the ongoing COVID restrictions, activities for 2021 look very similar to those from 2020. We look forward to a time when we can all gather and hold each other close as we remember those who we lost and what we endured that day.
We hope that the activities and points of reflection provided will meet most employees, families, residents, and the larger community where they are as we all continue to heal.
Why isn’t there a point of reflection at Building 2 this year?
We understand the importance of individuals wishing to remember and gather at the municipal center, which is why we are placing a temporary point of reflection on campus in view of Building 2. Due to the new City Hall construction boundaries that also encompass Building 2, a temporary memorial will be installed behind Building 15 near the corner of Admiral Degrasse Way and Princess Anne Road.
The planning committee reviewed several locations that were restricted due to several factors including underground utilities and the chosen location made best use of available municipal center public parking and ease of access.
This point of reflection will be open May 26 – June 2. A map of the municipal center can be found here. Please note that all installation schedules are weather permitting.
Why is the ceremony virtual again this year?
Executive Order 72 guidelines are still in effect as a part of the ongoing COVID pandemic. As of April 2021, restrictions for special events currently restrict the business sector- which includes local municipal governments- from holding special indoor events that may exceed 50 participants and outdoor events that may exceed 100 participants. The number of individuals who would want to participate in a City-planned memorial service exceed the number allowed to gather at this time. A virtual ceremony is the best way to ensure public safety and inclusivity.
Why isn’t the Moment of Silence on the actual day?
For many city employees, the Friday of that week is a reminder of the events of that tragic day and holds emotional significance, especially for those who worked in Building 2.
Individuals are invited to participate in their own Moment of Silence May 31 at a time that works best for them. Additional self-guided activities are planned on May 31. For a complete list of activities, visit the 2021 events page.
I want to drop off flowers or other mementos. Where can I do that?
We understand that individuals may want to drop off items to acknowledge and remember those who were lost. Please understand that the points of reflection are open public spaces. You may leave items; however, they are not monitored or watched. All items will be removed when the reflections points have reached their scheduled conclusion. Items that are non-perishable or eligible to be added to the City’s archive will be collected by city staff to be appropriately cataloged.
What happened to all of the painted rocks? What is the plan for those?
The painted rocks have been collected and properly stored with Parks and Landscape Services. They have recently been sealed with a protective coating for future use. The permanent memorial planning committee will explore ways they can be used.
What’s the status of the permanent memorial?
City Council adopted a resolution in December 2020 to form a committee to oversee the direction of a permanent memorial. A request for proposal (RFP) was issued by the City of Virginia Beach on February 11, 2021 to select professional consultants to assist with the planning and closed on March 4. The review and selection process for the consultant, based on the applications received, is underway and will be finalized in summer 2021.