Arizona is hosting several thoughtful events this weekend. You can choose to stroll quietly among rows of American flags at Tempe Beach Park, climb 2,071 stairs, observe art installations and reflect. There are myriad ways to remember the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Cities and organizations across metro Phoenix are hosting events to commemorate the anniversary and pay tribute to those who lost their lives. Here are some of those events.
Gilbert will host a 9/11 Memorial 20th Anniversary Ceremony on Sept. 11. Gilbert police officers and firefighters will gather around an 8-foot steel beam that once held up the North Tower of the World Trade Center, according to the city. The ceremony will be followed by the “Tribute in Light,” in which two beams of light will be projected into the sky to symbolize the World Trade Center’s twin towers.
The Gilbert water tower will be illuminated red, white and blue.
- Time: Ceremony at 6 p.m. Light ceremony from 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
- Location: 50 E. Civic Center Drive. Gilbert.
- For more information: https://www.gilbertaz.gov/about-us/9-11-memorial#!/
The 911 Tower Challenge Foundation will host its annual 2,071 stair climb at Gila River Arena to honor the firefighters who climbed the Twin Towers’ 110 floors on Sept. 11, 2001.
Nonparticipants can register to watch if they are attending with someone participating in the climb. Participants should wear comfy clothes and tennis shoes and bring the badge they received with registration.
Parking will be available at the lot just east of the arena.
Discounts are offered to ROTC cadets. Registration is $50. Those interested should register in advance to reserve a spot.
- Time: Doors open at 7 a.m.; the climb begins at 8 a.m.
- Location: 9400 W. Maryland Ave. Glendale.
- For more information: www.911towerchallengefoundation.org/phoenix-challenge-information
The town of Fountain Hills invites residents to submit poetry, art and craft projects for a 9/11 ceremony on Sept. 11 at the Amphitheater at Fountain Park.
Residents can also register for a stair climb challenge to honor the first responders who climbed 2,071 steps at the Twin Towers’ 343 stories.
The town’s website also includes instructions on how to make a “Survivors’ Leaf,” which children and residents can bring to the 9/11 Ceremony and put on display.
The town will also illuminate the fountain in blue until 9 p.m.
- Time: 6 p.m., fountain illumination from dusk to 9 p.m.
- Location: Amphitheater at Fountain Park, 12925 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills.
- For more information: https://www.fh.az.gov/765/911-Remembrance
Mesa city, fire and police departments will host a commemorative ceremony at the Mesa Amphitheatre featuring the Coast Guard Auxiliary Band Arizona. A flag presentation and laying of a memorial wreath will follow the preprogram music.
The keynote speaker will be retired Mesa fire Chief Dennis Compton, who responded to the World Trade Center and Pentagon during his time as chief, according to the city.
Attendees are required to bring their belongings in clear bags and are permitted one clear water bottle per person. Face masks are optional.
- Time: Doors opens at 9 a.m. The ceremony will take place from 10 to 11 a.m.
- Location: 263 N. Center St. Mesa.
- For more information: www.mesaaz.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/11052/1344
Scottsdale offers a free 9/11 Tribute pop-up museum at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts through Sept. 12.
The pop-up museum will include the National Unity Flag, photos and videos from 9/11, and supersized props of the Twin Towers, Pentagon, plane wings and large metal flag.
- Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Sept. 12, with 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. ceremonies on Sept. 11.
- Location: 7380 E. Second St. Scottsdale.
- For more information: www.scottsdaleaz.gov/news/scottsdale-remembers-week-long-9_11-tribute-honors-those-lost.
The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will also host a special ceremony reading the names of those who lost their lives on 9/11 at 1 p.m. in the atrium and a 3 p.m. special ceremony at the Virginia G. Piper Theater.
The Salt River Indian Community Fire Department will host its fifth annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Each registered climber will be issued a photo and tag with the name of a fallen first responder.
“Through firefighter and community participation, we hope to ensure that each of the 343 firefighters, 60 police officers, and 10 EMS personnel are honored, and their sacrifice is never forgotten,” said organizers of the event on the website.
Registration is limited to 1,000 climbers and includes a commemorative T-shirt designed by State Forty Eight.
- Time: 6:30 p.m. opening ceremony, 7 to 9 p.m. climb.
- Location: 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale.
- For more information: www.discoversaltriver.com/9-11-stair-climb.
The Exchange Club of Tempe will host the annual Healing Field at Tempe Beach Park to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Rows of American flags in honor of the victims of 9/11 will cover the lawns from Sept. 10-12. Visitors can come at any point throughout the weekend, or attend a specific weekend event.
- Sept. 10:
- 6 a.m. — Flags will be posted. Visitors are invited to help.
- 6:30 p.m. — “Freedom Concert” at Tempe Beach Park.
- Sept. 11:
- 5:45 a.m. — Healing Field Tribute. The names of the victims will be read.
- 7 p.m. — A candlelight vigil with a ceremony and speakers.
- Sept. 12:
- 7:15 a.m. — Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk. (Prices range $15-$35.)
Location: Tempe Beach Bark, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe.
For more information: TempeHealingField.org. To register for the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk, visit dogood.t2t.org/event/2021-tunnel-to-towers-5k-run-and-walk-tempe-az/e337587.