Never forget: It has been 15 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and communities across Greater Cincinnati are keeping that promise.
Remembrances for one of the nation’s darkest days have evolved quite a bit since the early years of moments of silence and candlelight vigils.
While those events are still certainly worthwhile, service projects, volunteering events, runs and symbolic activities have become part of a broad range of ways to commemorate the day. For those wanting to do something special, you will have plenty of options to choose from later this week.
Services of remembrance
On Sept. 11, a memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. at the Northern Kentucky 9/11 Memorial in Crescent Springs.
The memorial, which stands in Crescent Springs Community Park at 800 Buttermilk Pike, features renderings of the Twin Towers and a timeline of the events that occurred on Sept.11, 2001.
In the shape of a pentagon at its base, the memorial pays tribute to five groups deeply affected on that historic day: firefighters, police, the airline industry, civilians and the Pentagon, according to Jennifer DePompei, a memorial committee member. At the center is an I-beam from the Twin Towers that was secured from Ground Zero and placed at the memorial by Iron Workers Local 44.
It was dedicated last year on Sept. 11.
“It’s very powerful,” DePompei said of the memorial. “It tells the story of that tragic day.”
This year’s program will host the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, Ralph Fulton VFW Post 6423 and the Covington Police Department, represented with color guards and rifle teams.
The family of Brian P. Williams, an Edgewood native who died in the World Trade Center attack, will be also be present to unveil a monument in his honor, she said.
Events supporting our service men/women and communities
Union Institute & University and the American Red Cross are partnering this year to support active military members, veterans, first responders and their families at a 9/11 Service Member Resource Event. It will be held Sept. 11 at the American Red Cross’ Cincinnati area chapter, 2111 Dana Ave., Cincinnati.
The event, which is set for noon-4 p.m., will feature a brief ceremony recognizing caregivers and family supporters followed by a resource fair. More than a dozen local groups will offer information on military/police discounts and transitioning to civilian life, according to Union spokesperson Teresa Wilkins. Groups will include the Cincinnati VA Medical Center OIF/OEF Clinic, Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship, Disabled American Veterans, Hearts of Valor Group and Homes for Heroes.
The Cincinnati Fire Department will have a fire apparatus and medic unit onsite to explore, she said, and the event will also feature a variety of drawings with prizes and activities for kids. Find more details and a list of participating organizations here.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati is also seeking local armed forces members, veterans and first responders to participate in its 9/11 Week of Service and Remembrance beginning Sept. 10.
The organization is calling for volunteers to help with construction projects in East Price Hill and Latonia Lakes.
Habitat for Humanity’s initiative is part of 9/11 Day, a nonprofit coalition that calls for Americans to engage in charitable service in observance of the federally-recognized September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.
9/11 Day has become the nation’s largest annual day of charitable engagement. An estimated 30 million Americans are expected to participate in this year.
To connect with organizations that need volunteers in your area, visit www.911day.org/volunteer.
If you’re looking to do a good deed or support a worthy cause here this weekend in honor of 9/11, there are a variety of opportunities on both sides of the Ohio River. Here are a handful of ideas to help start your search:
- The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati will host its 15th anniversary Buddy Walk at Sawyer Point on Sept. 10. The walk is a short, one-mile stroll, starting and finishing on the Sawyer Point Kroger Promenade and heading west through and around Yeatman's Cove. An after party will follow. Registration begins at 9 a.m.; the walk starts at 10 a.m. Register or donate here.
- Give Back Cincinnati, a nonprofit that offers young professionals more than two dozen volunteer opportunities annually, will host “Don’t Rock the Boat” from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sept. 10. Participants will clean up Greater Cincinnati’s shorelines from canoes. Volunteers will take off from Blue Bell Beach in Cleves and paddle along the Great Miami picking up litter along the way. To join its network of volunteers and help out, visit www.givebackcincinnati.org.
- Renaissance Covington has teamed up with the Covington Business Council and Foundation on a Madison Avenue Flower Program. The groups are looking for gardeners to help plant the flowers the morning of Sept. 10. Find details here.
- The Robin’s Nest 5K Run/Walk, an annual event that supports The Robin’s Nest Charitable Fund, is set for 9 a.m., Sept. 10, at Pioneer Park in Covington. The Robin’s Nest is a nonprofit that honors Northern Kentucky native Robin Evernham and aims to assist those on their journey to conquer cancer. Find details and register here.
- The Sunflower Rev It Up for Parkinson's Walk/Ride/Run is set for Sept. 11 at Sawyer Point Park. Registration starts at 6 a.m., followed by events including a 100K bike ride at 7 a.m.; 40K bike ride at 8 a.m.; 25K bike ride at 8:45 a.m.; 5K run/walk at 9 a.m.; and a 1K “Walk 'n Roll” kids run at 10 a.m. The group hopes to raise $150,000, which will be used to provide support for the research and educational efforts of the Gardner Family Center for Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute. Register or donate here.