WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will visit all three 9/11 memorial sites to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and pay his respects to the nearly 3,000 people killed that day. The White House says Biden will visit ground zero in New York City, the Pentagon and the memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Flight 93 was forced down. Biden’s itinerary is similar to the one President Barack Obama followed in 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for a separate event before she joins Biden at the Pentagon. – Associated Press
September 11, 2021 marks 20 years after the 9/11 attacks. Here’s where you can find local memorial services and events:
Thursday, Sept. 9
MEMORIAL STADIUM: On Thursday at 6:00 a.m., University of Illinois Naval ROTC members will conduct the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Memorial Stadium, with participants climbing 1,980 stair steps to simulate the 100 floors climbed by police officers and firefighters inside the World Trade Center buildings on the morning of the 9/11 attacks.
“The event will show that even with the adversity that the country has been facing, the future officers of the armed forces are dedicated to remembering our historical events,” Midshipman Angelo Minetti wrote in a statement.
Saturday, Sept. 11
SUNRISE WALK: If you would appreciate some space to hold the complicated emotions on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, join Rev. Sally and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign (UUCUC) for a sunrise walk at Meadowbrook Park.
“We’ll gather near the playground parking lot starting at 6 a.m. and have an opportunity as we arrive to briefly share memories, prayers, and some guided meditation around grief and remembrance. The walk will begin at 6:20 a.m., and will take about 25 minutes.”
9/11 MEMORIAL STAIR CLIMB: Saturday at 7:00 a.m., the public is welcome to climb 110 flights of stairs in recognition of the climb to the top of the World Trade Centers on 9/11/01. You can reserve your spot in the Mattoon Area Family YMCA app or by calling (217) 234-9494 for Mattoon or (217) 235-2500 for Toledo. It is free for members, $5 for non-members.
RUN TO REMEMBER: The Illinois Marathon is holding a Run To Remember 8K Run/Walk. “Run to Remember is an event to honor the memories of those we miss, cherish those within our midst, and work together for a peaceful tomorrow,” said the organization in a statement. Registration is closed. The race begins Saturday at 7:30 a.m.
9/11 MEMORIAL CEREMONY: The Champaign Fire Department is holding its annual memorial ceremony at 8:46 a.m. It will take place at the northeast corner of West Side Park at the Champaign Fire and Police Memorial.
20th ANNIVERSARY REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY: The Ford County Republican Women is presenting a remembrance ceremony at the “Grand Ol’ American Flag,” a large flag and flagpole behind Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School, Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Attendees are asked to bring masks.
“PAUSE FOR PATRIOTS”: The High Caliber Training Center & Indoor Range in Urbana (1414 Triumph Drive) is holding a “Pause for Patriots” event on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
“A day to honor veterans and bring mental health awareness and services to veterans and their families,” the Facebook event reads. “Not just a day for outreach. A day for potential, current, and past military personnel to gather and connect.”
“SENCE YOU WENT AWAY”: On Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall of Smith Memorial Hall, University of Illinois Music Professor Ollie Watts Davis is presenting a collaborative performance titled “Sence You Went Away.” The performance will feature pianist Casey Robards and the Jupiter String Quartet in an acknowledgment of the tragic loss of Sept. 11, 2001. Professor Davis will also be joined by alumnus and composer, K. Edward Copeland, alumnus Brian Courtney Wilson, and the University of Illinois Black Chorus.
“The concert shares the music and literature of Black Americans, and reveals a lens for seeing the survival strategies and nourishing ways forward that Black Americans have used throughout their experience. James Weldon Johnson’s poem, Sence You Went Away, provided the title for the performance and can be heard in Movement 5 of the song cycle Professor Davis plans to perform.”
MEMORIAL OF 9/11 ON THE 20th ANNIVERSARY: Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Decatur 9/11 Memorial, located along the shore of Lake Decatur in Nelson Park, a presentation will be held. “If you are on a boat, please drive by flying an American flag to show your respect.”