Two years after America was attacked by terrorists, a relatively light schedule of observances is planned Thursday in the East Valley to remember more than 3,000 killed in New York City, Washington, D.C., and rural Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. It marks a sharp drop from last year.
Scottsdale is one of few cities formally sponsoring commemorations. Mayor Mary Manross, Police Chief Alan Rodbell and Rural/ Metro Fire Chief Steve Randall will lead a "We Shall Not Forget" memorial at 7:15 am. Thursday at the entrance of City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. The program will start at 7:28 a.m. to coincide with the time of the collapse of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York.
"It’s our opportunity to pay tribute to those victims who lost their lives in 9/11," said Jan Horne, Scottsdale public information coordinator. "It also gives us an opportunity to honor our military personnel who are working long and hard to protect us."
Tempe, which sponsored a community patriotic event at Tempe Town Lake last year, will simply make note of Sept. 11 at the start of the 7:30 p.m. City Council meeting Thursday. "Vice Mayor Barb Carter is going to have some words and a ‘remembrance,’ but that is all that is official," said Randy Gross, community relations director.
A "Candle Vigil and Mill Avenue Walk for Peace," with chanting, song and prayers, will begin 6 p.m. Thursday at University Drive and Mill Avenue and proceed to Tempe Town Lake. Cosponsors are the Lotus House of Mesa, Krishna Temple of Chandler, Islamic Community Center in Tempe and the family of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh immigrant from India and Mesa businessman slain just after the attacks.
"Let Freedom Ring" is the theme of a Sept. 11 neighborhood memorial 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Valencia Park, 634 N. Quail, Mesa. Participants include Sen. Marilyn Jarrett and Reps. Gary Pierce and Chuck Gray, all R-Mesa; former Arizona congressman Matt Salmon; and council members Rex Griswold and Janie Thom. Music will be performed and recognition will be given to past and present members of the U.S. armed forces and Mesa’s fire, police and other public safety workers.
The Fountain Hills mayor and Town Council will lead an informal remembrance ceremony at 6 p.m. near the flagpole of the community center parking lot, with speeches, music, prayers and refreshments afterward in the lobby.