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Sept. 11 anniversary remembrances around Boston

Posted by Sara Brown  August 31, 2011 02:25 PM

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Wreath-laying ceremonies, concerts, and blood drives are planned as Boston prepares to observe the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

-- The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund will host several events on the anniversary, starting with a 7:30 a.m. wreath-laying ceremony at the Contemplative Garden Memorial in the Boston Public Garden. The ceremony is open to the public, and the granite memorial, etched with the names of Sept. 11 victims with connections to Massachusetts and New England, will be open from 7:30 a.m. to sunset.

According to the organization, charcoal rubbings of names can be done, with staff available to provide materials and assistance.

-- At another event open to the public, there will be a flag-lowering ceremony and a performance of the national anthem at 8:30 a.m. on the Massachusetts State House lawn on Beacon Street. There will also be a moment of silence and reading of names.

A commemoration observation, with limited public ceremony, will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the House Chambers at the State House. Victoria Kennedy, widow of Senator Edward Kennedy, and Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown will make remarks. There will be readings by family members and the presentation of the Madeleine Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery.

The annual award is named after Sweeney, an American Airlines flight attendant from Acton who conveyed critical information from one of the hijacked planes. This year’s award will honor acts of bravery from July 15, 2010 to June 15, 2011.

-- The Massachusetts Remembers 9/11 Memorial Concert and Ceremony, featuring the Boston Pops Brass Ensemble, will take place from later that day 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the DCR Hatch Shell. The event is free, and the oval will open at noon.

The concert, which will honor “American and the heroes and the fallen of that tragic day,” as well as American service members, will feature readings, poems, interfaith prayers, and a time for reflection and remembrance.

Music will be provided by the Boston Pops Brass Ensemble with the Boston Children’s Chorus.

The Hatch Shell ceremony is the culmination of the Beyond the Bike ride, a commemorative event sponsored by Beyond the 11th, a non-profit created by two September 11 widows. Bikers will begin their journey at Ground Zero in New York, arriving in Boston before the concert.

Non-profit and charitable causes created by September 11 family members will be on display, as will an American flag mural half the size of a football field.

The mural features 50,000 individual red, white and blue six inch tiles created by Massachusetts school children shortly after September 11, 2001. Each tile has a message of peace, hope and patriotism.

Click here for more program information, and to see sponsors.

-- Over at Fenway Park, the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund is sponsoring an American Red Cross 9/11 Remembrance Blood Drive.

People can donate blood in honor of those who died, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Gate D. The Red Sox will not be in town.

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