Memorials planned for 9/11 anniversary
Volunteers in Lynnfield today will plant almost 3,000 American flags on a grassy patch of land in the town center, a tribute to each victim of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The display will mark the start of the town’s two-week commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The flags, which will be displayed until Sept. 18, will stand as a visual remembrance of the lives lost on that fateful morning.
“People will be welcome to walk among the flags,’’ said the Rev. Dennis C. Bailey, pastor of the Centre Congregational Church, who is coordinating the town’s commemoration. “It will be a place for people to think, and reflect, about the lives lost.’’
In song and prayer, tolling bells and taps, cities and towns across the North region this week will hold public remembrances.
Most events are scheduled for Sunday, when the state and national observances are also due to be held. Some events will be solemn, remembering loss and sacrifice. Others will celebrate the commitment of first responders, military personnel, and veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lowell will collect toiletries, foods, and clothes this week to distribute to veterans in need, with drop-off locations at City Hall and the Senior Center.
Tewksbury will start its memorial service at 8:46 a.m. to mark the time the first jetliner hit the World Trade Center. The event will be held at a memorial, which includes bricks naming all of the nearly 3,000 victims, in front of the town library.
On Friday, Andover will unveil a memorial plaque at the World War II Memorial Auditorium at 8:30 a.m. in the Town Offices. The plaque includes the names of four Andover residents who died in the attacks, Christopher Morrison, Billy Naiman, Betty Ong, and Len Taylor.
Ong was a flight attendant on American Airlines flight 11, the first jetliner to crash into the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York. She served alongside Karen A. Martin of Danvers, the lead flight attendant.
Amesbury will hold an Evening of Heroes, a salute to police, fire, and military personnel, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Landry Stadium. Area choruses are to perform. Swampscott will hold a 9/11 Heroes Run, honoring first responders, at 11 a.m., starting at the Veterans of Foreign War Post on Pine Street.
In Somerville, Tufts University will present a musical program at 3 p.m. at Distler Performance Hall, which will feature the premiere of a new work, “September Quartet.’’
Dracut Remembers, a town food drive, will be held all day Sunday. Donations can be made at local farms, St. Francis Church, or at the central fire station on Pleasant Street.
Dracut was the hometown of American Airlines Captain John Ogonowski, the pilot of Flight 11.
Medford will hold a remembrance ceremony for victims at 9:30 a.m. at Morrison Park on Central Avenue. Guests are then invited to proceed to Immaculate Conception Church for an 11 a.m. Blue Mass, honoring police, fire, and other first responders, according to the mayor’s office.
The variety of events planned is a poignant reminder of the broad and deep impact Sept. 11 had on people of all walks of life, Bailey noted.
“We were shaken. The world was shaken,’’ said Bailey, the chaplain to the Lynnfield Fire Department, who visited ground zero in New York just days after the attacks, to counsel firefighters and their families. “It’s important for people to gather at such times as the 10th anniversary to remember every person who died.’’
On Sunday at 2 p.m., Lynnfield plans a reading of the names of the nearly 3,000 victims during a ceremony on the town common. At 6 p.m., a service on the Common will feature remarks by Katherine Bailey, the widow of Garnet “Ace’’ Bailey, a former Boston Bruin and pro hockey scout from Lynnfield, who died aboard United Airlines flight 175, the second jetliner to strike the towers.
In Salem, a memorial built with a 3-foot steel beam recovered from ground zero will be unveiled Sunday, 10 a.m., at the fire headquarters on Lafayette Street. Firefighters designed the memorial, which includes a granite replica of the towers.
The New York and New Jersey Port Authority made pieces of steel recovered from the towers available to communities and organizations across the country. Manny Ataide, a four-year member of Salem fire department, applied for the department to receive a piece of the beam to build a memorial for 9/11 victims. “I wrote an essay telling them how our department would honor the memory of all the victims,’’ said Ataide, 32, an Iraq war veteran, who joined the Army one week after the attacks.
A solemn ceremony is planned. The fire department chaplain will bless the steel beam. A bagpiper will play, and bells will toll five times in memory of fallen firefighters. “We really hope the public joins us on this occasion,’’ Ataide said.
In Danvers, Town Manager Wayne P. Marquis will moderate a panel discussion on the impact of the attacks on American culture. The 2 p.m. event, at Peabody Institute Library, is open to the public.
At 9 a.m., a procession will start from the Lyons Ambulance building on Maple Street. Guests of honor will be the family of the late Karen A. Martin.
Danvers officials, police and fire personnel will take part. The procession will end at Danvers Fire Headquarters at 9:55 a.m. A wreath will be laid in memory of the hundreds of firefighters and other first responders who died in the attacks.
“It will be a solemn procession,’’ said Jim George, a retired Danvers police officer who organized the first procession, held on the fifth anniversary. “We are inviting the people of Danvers to be there, to show our honor, and respect, as a town.’’
McCabe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.