September 11 commemorations and remembrances in the Valley:
It’s been 10 years since a series of four coordinated suicide attacks against targets in New York and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001 changed the culture and history of the American people. More than 2,800 victims lost their lives that day and countless others were affected by the massive devastation.
The Valley is honoring the memory of those who lost their lives with a series of September 11 commemorations this weekend:
Gilbert will unveil its new 9/11 memorial during a ceremony that begins Sunday, Sept. 11 at 8 a.m. To create the memorial, the town has acquired an eight-foot-long, 1,500 pound beam from the World Trade Center, from the New York City Port Authority. Gilbert is among a few municipalities in Arizona that received an artifact from the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center tragedy.
After the sun sets after the unveiling of the memorial, residents can view two spotlights shining upward in memory of the World Trade Tower. The twin lights will shine from dusk to midnight parallel to the memorial, which is located at Town Hall, 50 E. Civic Center Drive, near Warner and Gilbert roads in Gilbert. The beam, which once held up Tower I, will now help to help the community remember the tragedy, explains Fire Chief Collin DeWitt, who picked up the beam in New York and drove it to Gilbert, paying it the same respects as a fallen soldier.
“This will be the first day people can come and pay tribute at the memorial, and we are encouraging people to come down, and touch the beam as they honor those lost, and never forget how we all joined as a single nation of support,” DeWitt says. “Those who drive past, or see the twin lights in the distance, we encourage can take a moment to reflect. This is a solemn time, but it is also a time when we see people doing positive things, acts of volunteerism and kindness, in honor of those lost.”
As a way to honor the heroes who bravely sacrificed their own lives in the line of duty, SanTan Brewing Company has teamed up with the Chandler Fire Department for a 9-11 hero appreciation fundraiser benefiting the Chandler Firefighter Charities.
On Sunday, September 11, from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. patrons will have a chance to give back to the community while enjoying fiery hot service. They’re usually extinguishing the flames, but during the 9-11 hero appreciation fundraiser, off duty Chandler Firefighters will heat up the place as SanTan Brewing Company servers!
A percentage of SanTan Brewing Company’s proceeds on 9-11 will be donated to benefit the Chandler Firefighter Charities, a 501C3 founded by the Chandler Fire Department to support the needs of people and organizations in the City of Chandler.
Owner of SanTan Brewing Company, Anthony Canecchia, has a personal connection to these efforts and for the appreciation of heroes. He says, “My Grandfather was a member of the New York Fire Department for 43 years. It is personally important to me to give back to these brave men and women.”
The highest-ranking firefighter to survive the World Trade Center collapse, and the last fireman to escape the devastation, Richard “Pitch” Picciotto, is coming to Phoenix to speak at Valley Forward Association’s 42nd Annual Lunch on Dec. 9, 2011, and will provide an outspoken account of that indelible day.
Picciotto was on a stairwell between the sixth and seventh floors of the North Tower when it collapsed on September 11, 2001. An FDNY battalion commander, his is the harrowing true story of an American hero, a man who thought nothing of himself and gave nearly everything for others during one of our nation’s darkest hours. Picciotto tells an outspoken account of that indelible day, shaking and inspiring audiences to the core.
IN THE VALLEY
Maricopa Community Colleges will mark the anniversary by participating in National Preparedness Month (NPM), an event that was founded after 9-11 to increase preparedness levels across the United States.
The event, now in its eighth year, is a nationwide, month-long effort hosted by the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, encouraging households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. The Maricopa Community Colleges are participating this year by launching an internal awareness campaign that will offer weekly reminders and tips to employees across the Maricopa County Community College District.
“We wanted to begin an internal awareness campaign for this year’s NPM as a way to introduce the event and refamiliarize employees with the Maricopa Emergency Management System (MEMS),” says Cynthia Jensen, the Maricopa Community Colleges District’s new emergency manager. “There are a lot of resources available to all of us for work and home that can help us be prepared and stay prepared for an emergency.”
One of NPM’s key messages is: be prepared in the event an emergency causes you to be self-reliant for three days without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services, or maybe even without response from police, fire or rescue.
Preparing can start with three important steps:
1) Get an emergency supply kit;
2) Make a plan for what to do in an emergency; and
3) Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency.
This is the first year the Maricopa Community Colleges have participated in NPM.