A sampling of local events as the country pauses to remember the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001:
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert has proclaimed 9:11 a.m. Friday to be the City of Omaha’s official annual minute of silence to pay respects to the victims of 9/11 and show appreciation for our local first responders.
The First Responders Foundation is organizing its second annual commemoration of 9/11 at Memorial Park. It will begin at 8:30 a.m. and include a moment of silence at 9:11 a.m. Stothert and Gov. Pete Ricketts will speak. Participants will gather near the display of flags set out.
The 14th annual Remembrance and Military Tribute will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Sumtur Amphitheater. The event will feature live music. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets or cushions for overflow seating. The amphitheater is just off 108th Street and Highway 370, just south of Papillion LaVista South High School.
The Papillion Fire Department will host a 9/11 ceremony on Friday at 7:45 a.m. at Station 3, 146 N. Adams St. The ceremony will include a moment of silence, reading of a timeline of significant events and reading of the names of law enforcement officers and fire and EMS personnel lost that day.
The annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony will be held Friday at 6 p.m. at American Heroes Park, across Mission Avenue from Haworth Park. The ceremony, which will feature remarks by Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders, Junior ROTC contingents from Bellevue West, Bellevue East and Bryan High Schools, a wreath laying and music from the Bryan High School Band. In addition, 42 new citizens will be sworn in. If weather is bad, the event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Bellevue Public Schools’ Lied Activity Center.
The Strategic Air and Space Museum will honor the 9/11 victims during a remembrance lunch at 11:30 a.m. Friday. The luncheon address will cover changes in national security and how the attacks changed the mission for STRATCOM. The program and lunch are free with paid museum admission; military guests will receive free admission. The museum is off Interstate 80 at Exit 426.
A special salute to military veterans is planned during Iowa Western Community College’s Saturday football game at Lewis Central Stadium in Council Bluffs. RAPTOR, the country/rock group of the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band, will perform during tailgating beginning at 11:30 a.m. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Becky Packard will sing the national anthem, and Offutt Air Force Base’s Honor Guard will present the colors before the 1 p.m. kickoff of the game with Highland Community College. The Iowa Western band will join with the Council Bluffs’ St. Albert High School band to perform an “Armed Forces Salute” at halftime.
Offutt Air Force Base
More than 40 members of the Offutt fire department will honor the 343 firefighters who died responding to the 9/11 terrorist attacks during a solemn ceremony Friday at 7:25 a.m. at the main fire station. The ceremony will include remarks by the fire chief and wing chaplain, and will conclude with a ceremonial ringing of the bell 20 times to signify a firefighter’s last call. At 3 p.m., Offutt firefighters in full-bunker gear along with members of Offutt’s 55th Security Forces Squadron will conduct a 110 stair climb at the Offutt air traffic control tower to honor the heroic efforts of the firefighters who responded to the twin towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. As part of other 9/11 observances, members of Team Offutt are also invited to participate in a one-minute moment of silence from 9:11 – 9:12 a.m.