City unveils plan to commemorate 9/11
10th anniversary of attacks to be observed with bell ringing, mural project
Boston will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks this Sunday by planting almost 3,000 flags in the Public Garden - one for each victim killed a decade ago. The names of the 206 Massachusetts victims will be read aloud at a flag-lowering with Governor Deval Patrick at the State House, where a moment of silence will be observed at 8:46 a.m., the time the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center.
And two dozen local churches, from the Old North Church in the North End to Gate of Heaven in South Boston, will join a nationwide bell ringing.
“It’s been a very long road, the last 10 years,’’ said widow Christie Coombs of Abington, who spoke at a press conference yesterday at Boston City Hall.
The attention is good, Coombs said, so people do not forget victims like her husband, Jeff, who was killed on American Airlines Flight 11. But it can also open wounds that have begun to heal.
“This is going to be a very difficult anniversary because there is so much attention on it,’’ she said.
The ceremonies will begin Saturday on City Hall Plaza, where the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund will create a mural with the help of Sept. 11 families. Once complete, it will be hung at City Hall.
On Sunday, the actual anniversary, the flag planting near the Sept. 11 memorial in the Public Garden will begin before dawn. At 7:30 a.m. Mayor Thomas M. Menino will lay a wreath at the memorial. The reading of the names and the lowering of the flag at the State House will follow at 9:30 a.m.
Other events include gathering 2,060 books - 10 for each Massachusetts victim - at City Hall Plaza for use by the Boston Public Library. The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund will meet on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway to assemble 1,000 care packages for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Red Cross also hopes to collect 1,000 units of blood at a daylong donation drive at Fenway Park.
“That day changed all of our lives forever,’’ Menino said yesterday as he described the ceremonies. “This is a day of respect, dignity, and remembering . . . this is about Boston pulling together.’’