Across the Chicago area, events are planned to honor the 20th anniversary of the deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11.
Here's a look at how the Chicago area will mark the day and remember the lives lost that tragic day.
Chicago's Daley Plaza 9/11 Memorial Ceremony
September 11, 2021
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Richard J. Daley Plaza
50 W Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
What: The City of Chicago, along with CFD, CPD ,and other city departments has arranged a 20th anniversary 9/11 Memorial ceremony.
College of DuPage Commemorates 20th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks
Saturday, Sept. 11
Watch via livestream on the College of DuPage Facebook page
What: College of DuPage leaders commemorate the 20th anniversary of an event that forever changed the nation, remember the lives lost and honor the heroic spirit of first responders and civilians at “9/11 20 Years Later: Our Community Remembers.” The ceremony will be presented from the College’s Robert J. Miller Homeland Security Education Center (HEC).
The commemoration includes reflections from COD Homeland Security Training Institute (HSTI) Director Tom Brady, DuPage County Sherriff James Mendrick and Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company Assistant Chief Jim Sisson. Flowers also will be lain on the 1,000-pound beam section from the World Trade Center that is housed at the HEC.
Chicago Marines 13-Mile Hike
September 11, 2021
7:30am - Program begins
7:46am - Moment of silence; time the first plane was flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center
7:47am - Anthem and Marines Hymn
8:00am - Step-off
10:00am- Halfway point water rest station; Randloph and the Lakefront pedestrian path at flagpole (aprox. time)
1:00pm - Program ends; arrive Old Crow Wrigleyville (aprox. time)
The “hump” will begin at the Bean at Chicago’s Millennium Park and end at Old Crow in Wrigleyville
Route can be found here: 9/11 and Afghanistan Memorial Hump to Remember
The Chicago Marines Foundation is coordinating a 13-mile “hump” through Chicago to remember and honor the service members, first responders and civilians killed as the result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The group will hike 13-miles, one for each service member killed in Kabul, Afghanistan last week, and to honor the tragedies of 9/11 which prompted the war that brought U.S. Troops to Afghanistan.
RiverEdge Park Bridge
360 N. Broadway
Aurora, IL 60505
What: Six Aurora firefighters were deployed to New York City immediately following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. After a non-stop 16-hour drive to New York, they worked for four intense days on rescue and recovery efforts. They returned home, forever impacted by what they experienced.
Two decades later, the six heroes will be special guests at Aurora’s September 11 Memorial Ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of that fateful day.
“Twenty years ago, our world was forever changed with the horrific attacks on September 11,” said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “We honor those who sadly lost their lives and those who were called to serve in response. I salute my fellow veterans who stood up to defend and protect our nation these past two decades. And, as we reflect on what happened on September 11, 2001, we also honor our own Aurora firefighters who quickly traveled to New York and returned home as heroes.”
Those heroes – current Battalion Chief Jason Dema, Battalion Chief Randy Leek, Captain Will Torres and retired firefighters Gary Pozzi, Mark Lockwood, and Tim Pogue - will be special guests at the ceremony and recognized for their deeds.
Battalion Chief Demas will speak on behalf of the group and reflect on their life-changing duties in New York City.
In addition, four memorial bells will toll to mark the times the four airplanes crashed. The first bell will toll at 7:46 a.m. to mark the time Flight 11 crashed into North Tower. The second bell will toll at 8:03 a.m. to mark when Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. The third bell will toll at 8:37 a.m. to mark Flight 77’s crash into the Pentagon. Finally, the fourth bell will toll 9:03 a.m. to mark Flight 93 crash near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Between the first and second bells, the names of the 38 victims born or who lived in Illinois will be read in tribute to all victims of the attacks.
During the ceremony, Aurora Gold Star families will be recognized, remarks will be made by Mayor Richard Irvin, Aurora Fire Chief Gary Krienitz, Aurora Police Chief Keith Cross, and Aurora Poet Laureate Karen Christensen; and a joint APD & AFD Honor Guard will present the colors and lay a memorial wreath.
The ceremony is open to the public. Guests can register at www.aurora-il.org/September11
Soldier Field Memorial Stair Climb
1410 Museum Campus Drive
What: As Americans reflect on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks this year, nearly 50 cities across the U.S. will pay tribute to the New York Firefighters killed at the World Trade Center. They will do so by symbolically retracing their heroic steps in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.
Each 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb involves 343 participants - to honor the 343 FDNY firefighters killed in the 9/11 attacks. Some stair climbs take place inside building stairwells, with participants climbing up and down stairs until they reach 110 stories, or 2,200 steps, the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. Others occur in outdoor arenas and stadiums. Often, participants wear full firefighter gear and breathing apparatuses while others take part in exercise clothes.
9/11 Naperville Memorial
Cmdr. Dan Shanower Memorial
Naperville Municipal Center
400 S. Eagle St.
What: On the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Exchange Club of Naperville is once again hosting the Sept. 11 remembrance at the Cmdr. Dan Shanower Memorial outside of the Naperville Municipal Center.
This event pays tribute to Naval Cmdr. Dan Shanower, a Naperville native who died in the attack on the Pentagon, as well as all victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. The event provides an opportunity to reflect on and remember this pivotal moment in our country’s history, with the ceremony beginning at 8:46 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 to coincide with the moment in Eastern time when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. Pre-event music begins at 8:30 a.m. courtesy of the Naperville Municipal Band and Naperville Men’s Glee Club. In the event of rain, the ceremony will take place inside Council Chambers of the Municipal Center.
This year’s featured speakers include Naperville Interim Police Chief Jason Arres, Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis and special guest speaker José Santiago, retired Fire Commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department. Santiago joined the Chicago Fire Department in 1979, spending a total of 39 years with the department. Santiago served in the United States Marine Corp for over 31 years, both in active duty and the Reserves, working his way through the ranks from Private to Commanding Officer of H&S Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division. Santiago served in Operations Frequent Wind (RVN) Desert Shield and Desert Storm (SWA).
Hammond Remembers September 11, 2001
Saturday, September 11
Data Center Flag on the Lake Michigan shoreline
701 Casino Center Drive
Rain location: Hammond Marina Clipper Room, 701 Casino Center Drive, Hammond.
What: Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr., and the City of Hammond invite all to join us for a September 11th Remembrance Ceremony commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy to remember those who lost their lives and to honor our first responders.
There will be a fly over by the Lake County Sheriff’s Helicopter, a 21-Gun Salute by Hammond Police, a joint Hammond Police/Fire Honor Guard, and more.
Highland Park Ceremony
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Fire Station #33
1130 Central Ave.
What: The City of Highland Park, in partnership with the City of Highwood, the Highland Park Public Library, North Shore School District 112, the Park District of Highland Park, and Township High School District 113 – Highland Park High School, will mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks with a solemn ceremony of remembrance.
9/11 Heroes 5K Run
Saturday, Sept. 11
1800 N. Stockton Dr.
Chicago, IL 60614
What: Chicago 9/11 Heroes Run 5K race will take place as part of the National 5K race series, which will unite the community to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, and honor the lives lost on 9/11 and in the wars since, along with our veterans, military, and first responders who serve our country and our communities.
Patriot Day Memorial Ceremony
Saturday, September 11
Corner of North Brockway and W. Slade Streets in downtown Palatine
What: Palatine Fire Department members and retirees will be marching to the memorial site from Fire Station 85 at 39 E. Colfax Street. They will be accompanied by the Palatine Fire Department Honor Guard and the Palatine Police Department Honor Guard. Members of the Palatine Fire and Police Departments will lower the flag, place a wreath at the memorial, and perform a ceremonial ringing of the bell to signify a firefighter’s last call of duty.
Archdiocese of Chicago Parishes Host 20th Anniversary Remembrances of 9/11
9 - 9:30 a.m.
Sat., Sept. 11
Sunday, Sept. 12
Holy Name Cathedral
735 N. State St.
What: Archdiocese of Chicago parishes will host 20th anniversary remembrances of the 9/11 attacks on the United States over the weekend of Sept. 11 – 12.
9/11 Elgin Ceremony
Saturday, September 11
Civic Center Plaza, located behind City Hall within the Robert Gilliam Municipal Complex
In the event of rain, the ceremony will move indoors to the Hemmens Cultural Center, located at 45 Symphony Way. See Less
What: In partnership with the American Legion, the City of Elgin will host its annual September 11 Remembrance Ceremony. All are invited to attend this service, on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, to remember those in public service who lost their lives and to honor those who continue to serve today. The ceremony will feature speakers and the national anthem will be performed by the Baptist Providence College Ensemble. This ceremony is free to the public and limited seating will be available. Participants may want to consider bringing a chair.
Orland Park Honors Lives Lost on 20th Anniversary of Sept. 11 Attacks
14700 S. Ravinia
What: The Village of Orland Park will hold a commemorative ceremony on the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks that took the lives of 2,996 victims. The event will feature tributes from community members.
“We invite everyone to join us in remembrance of the tragic loss our nation suffered 20 years ago,” said Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.
Pekau will be the program emcee and will address those in attendance prior to the posting of colors by Orland Fire Protection District, Orland Park Police, American Legion Orland Memorial Post 111 and Orland-Palos Reber-Tesmond VFW Memorial Post 2604. Pastor Don Borling of All Saints Lutheran Church in Orland Park will offer the ceremony’s invocation. Chief Michael Schofield and Dave Nagel of Orland Fire Protection District will share personal reflections on the tragedy with a bell ringing. Orland Park Police Chief Joseph Mitchell will offer a message to those in attendance. Presentations will also be given by military as well as civilian representatives of the community.
Owego Park Ceremony
Oswego First Responder Memorial
Oswego Public Safety Campus
3511 Woolley Rd.
What: The Oswego Police Department and the Oswego Fire Protection District are inviting the public to attend a memorial on Saturday, September 11, 2021, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. At 10:00 a.m., there will be a public event at the Oswego First Responder Memorial located at the
Oswego Public Safety Campus at 3511 Woolley Road, Oswego, to honor the 2,977 people that died during the attacks. The event will include short readings, the lowering of the memorial flag, a rifle salute, the playing of taps by local high school students and bagpipes by the Fire Department Pipes and Drums. Please come out to pay tribute to the 9/11 victims and honor the 343 firefighters and 71 police
officers that made the ultimate sacrifice that day. Members of the public are welcome to park in either the police or fire department parking lots.
The event is expected to last 30 minutes.
Portrait of Soldier Opening and Ceremony
10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The Arlington Heights Memorial Library
500 N. Dunton Avenue
First Presbyterian Church
302 N. Dunton
What: Portrait of a Soldier, an exhibit featuring more than 300 hand-drawn graphite portraits of the Illinois servicemen and servicewomen who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and other countries around the globe since 9/11. Portrait of a Soldier will be on display on the first floor of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library from Saturday, September 11 at 1:30 p.m. through Thursday, September 30. The exhibit's opening will be preceded by a September 11th Remembrance Ceremony at First Presbyterian Church, across the street from the library at 302 N. Dunton, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will be in attendance along with many of the Illinois Gold Star Families and other area organizations involved with bringing Portrait of a Soldier to the community including SALUTE, Inc.
9/11 Memorial Ceremony and Veterans Resource Fair
The First Division Museum
What: The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park invites everyone to the Heroes of 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at 11 am on Saturday, September 11. The event will be held adjacent to the museum’s outdoor exhibit comprised of two structural steel beams from the former World Trade Center buildings in New York. The memorial is dedicated to those lost in the terrorist attacks 20 years ago and honors the first responders who served that day and continue to serve in our local communities.
The Cantigny ceremony also will pay tribute to the families of 9/11 victims; post/911 War on Terrorism fallen soldiers, veterans, and their families; essential caregivers; and Gold Star families. Parking is free before noon on September 11.
Following the ceremony, Cantigny and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation’s Veterans Program will host a Post 9/11 Veterans Resource Fair from 12:30 to 3 pm, in the First Division Museum Pavilion. The event will offer resources tailored to young veterans and their families. A variety of Chicagoland nonprofits and programs plan to exhibit—participating organizations are listed below and posted at FDMuseum.org. Non-veteran guests are welcome and encouraged to learn about volunteer opportunities and additional ways to support veterans in their neighborhoods.
The September 11 events coincide with First Responders Appreciation Weekend at Cantigny Park. On Saturday and Sunday, September 11 and 12, first responders, military service members and veterans will receive free parking all day, a $10 value, by showing a valid ID.
9/11 National Day of Service at Navy Pier
Saturday, September 11
Two-hour meal pack shifts begin at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Aon Ballroom, Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
What: Tens of millions of people do good deeds each 9/11, making it our nation’s largest annual day of charitable service. On 9/11/21, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, nearly 10,000 volunteers in 10 different cities - representing more than 200 employers, military veteran organizations, faith groups and schools - will gather to pack meals for those in need. The events are being organized by 9/11 Day, the non-profit organization behind the federally designated ‘9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.’ In total, 2.5 million meals will be packed at these events, and distributed to those in need across the country.
In Chicago, volunteers will gather at Navy Pier beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing in shifts throughout the day. Nearly 1,000 volunteers will pack 200,000 meals for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The event - planned in conjunction with Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service and Americorps - will be a living, breathing example of local citizens’ commitment to marking the anniversary of 9/11 by serving their neighbors in need. To register for the event and see which shifts have volunteer slots available, use this link:
Note - proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and masks are required to participate. Children over the age of 12 may participate, but must register individually and be able to show proof of vaccination.
Glendale Heights Silent Parade
Saturday, September 11
Reskin Elementary School
1555 Ardmore Avenue
What: The Village of Glendale Heights will be remembering the 20th anniversary since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on our country. The Village is planning a silent parade of emergency personnel vehicles along with a solemn remembrance ceremony honoring and remembering the victims from September 11, 2001. The silent parade will begin on Saturday, September 11th at approximately 7:15 pm at Reskin Elementary School located at 1555 Ardmore Avenue in Glendale Heights and travel a short distance westbound on Fullerton Avenue towards the Glendale Heights Village Hall located at 300 Civic Center Plaza. The brief remembrance ceremony will be held at Village Hall along with artifacts on display from the September 11th attacks provided by the Glenside Fire Protection District.
Village officials encourage the Glendale Heights community to display their American Flags in front of their homes to remember and honor the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks and to show a sign of thanks to our emergency personnel. Additional American Flags will be placed along Fullerton Avenue as part of the Silent Parade route, and 2,977 American Flags will be planted on Thursday, September 9th in front of Glendale Heights Village Hall by the Kiwanis Club of Glendale Heights in remembrance of the victims lost on September 11, 2001.
Healing Field in Oak Brook Honors Lives Lost
Now through Sept. 12
Sports Core Field
700 Oak Brook Rd.
What: A remarkable display in Chicago's western suburbs honors lives lost on 9/11 as the nation prepares for the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. A polo field in Oak Brook has been transformed into what is now being called "Healing Field," where thousands of American flags sit in a solemn formation. The moving display featuring 2,997 flags at 700 Oak Brook Rd., also known as Sports Core Field, was erected following a series of private donations and sponsorships and with the help of volunteers. Residents can still sponsor a flag or make a donation, organizers said.
The event opened Wednesday and will stay open through Sept. 12.