Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Vigils, volunteer efforts to mark Sept. 11 anniversary

Sept. 11 anniversary events

Christina E. Sanchez

Organizations, schools and agencies in Worcester and across the state will hold events today and tomorrow to mark the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 tragedy.

Various public and private ceremonies will remember those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks in 2001 and celebrate America's everyday heroes.

Seven Hills Charter School pupils will be "Celebrating America" tomorrow as part of the school's second annual Hope and Heroes Day. The school at 51 Gage St., which serves kindergarten through Grade 8, has invited various community representatives to engage children in discussion about hope and heroism.

The 14 invited speakers, including parents, grandparents, police officers, city officials, health care workers and firefighters, will visit about 15 classrooms between 11:30 a.m. and noon.

Heroism will also be the theme tomorrow morning for the American Red Cross' second annual "Everyday Heroes" breakfast. The invitation-only event will recognize local residents who perform extraordinary acts each day.

The ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Hogan Center at the College of the Holy Cross. The keynote speaker will be Matt McAllester, United Nations bureau chief for Newsday, who was held prisoner for 10 days while covering the war in Iraq.

Throughout the day tomorrow, Holy Cross students, faculty and administrators will volunteer in the community in a national program called One Day's Pay. Volunteers will help the South Worcester and College Hill communities by painting, gardening and doing yard work at various sites including Canterbury Street School, 129 Canterbury St.; Cookson Park, near 79 Kendig St.; and Sacred Heart Church, 600 Cambridge St.

Groups and programs such as One Day's Pay, the Coalition of 911/31 Families and Youth Service America want to make Sept. 11 an annual day of voluntary service to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks.

Clark University also has scheduled an array of events for tomorrow, beginning with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time when the first plane struck the World Trade Center. All flags will be at half-staff and memorial ribbons will be available in the Higgins University Center.

Individuals who wish to share their thoughts about the tragedy can go to the Higgins University Center concourse to write on the Wall of Remembrance. To end the day's events, there will be a candlelight vigil, open to the public, at 7 p.m. in Red Square on the Clark campus.

WPI will memorialize Sept. 11 victims tomorrow at 10 a.m. with a procession across Earle Bridge near Boynton Hall to the flagpole at Beech Tree Circle. There will be a full military color guard present as the flag is raised fully and lowered to half-staff. Students will then place wreaths at the flagpole. Taps will be performed by two student trumpeters and will be followed by a moment of silence.

Massachusetts citizens are invited by Gov. Mitt Romney to attend a ceremony tomorrow at the Statehouse to memorialize the victims of the terrorist attacks and honor their families. The 20-minute ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will include a flag-raising ceremony and a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m.

Tonight, Worcester PeaceWorks will present a short film that raises unanswered questions surrounding the Sept. 11 tragedy. There will be a discussion afterward to consider questions such as who is responsible for the tragedy and whether it could have been prevented. The film screening and discussion will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Saxe Room of the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square.