Day of honor, remembrance

Communities will pause next weekend to mark the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

By Emily Sweeney
Globe Staff / September 4, 2011

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Cities and towns south of Boston will commemorate the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in many different ways this weekend. Wareham is having a parade. Thousands of flags will be planted in front of Braintree Town Hall. A bugler will play at a solemn ceremony in Pembroke. In Norwell, soldiers are running a road race with civilians.

Why is it important to bring people together as a community on Sept. 11?

“I think it’s important to do events locally because one of the big questions that was brought up by the events of Sept. 11 is: ‘Who are our neighbors?’ ’’ said the Rev. Marisa D. Parsa of First Parish in Milton. She is helping to coordinate a 10th anniversary remembrance in Milton, which will be led by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association.

Holding events like these is significant, she said, because “we get to meet our neighbors . . . and we get to see the diversity of our community, and get insight into how we can develop better relationships [with our neighbors], whether they’re next door or around the world.’’

Here’s a sampling of what communities have planned to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. (This is not a comprehensive list; readers should check with local officials to find out what’s happening nearby.)

BRAINTREE Next Sunday, Braintree residents will gather at Town Hall at 12:30 p.m. to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Thousands of flags - 3,000 in all - will be planted in front of Braintree Town Hall in memory of those who died on Sept. 11, 2001. Yellow ribbons will be tied around 92 flags to represent Massachusetts residents who lost their lives.

“I just want people to take the time to look and think,’’ said Sandy Duffy, who organized the planting of the flags.

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Cub Scouts will perform a color guard salute, and then Braintree will join communities across the country for a moment of remembrance as the bell tolls at 1 p.m. There will be music performed on bagpipes, songs by the Braintree High School concert choir and more than 200 Highlands Elementary School students, remarks by Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan and state Representative Mark J. Cusack, and a reading of the names of all Massachusetts residents who died in the attacks.

Gary Comoletti of Braintree, who was on the sidewalks of New York City during the attacks in 2001, will be a guest speaker. The flags will stay up for five days, according to Duffy.

BROCKTON A ceremony will be held at Brockton City Hall Plaza at 11 a.m. next Sunday.

“It is hard to believe that we are marking the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 this year,’’ said Mayor Linda M. Balzotti, in a press release. “While time has passed, the dramatic impact that day had on our nation remains vivid in our minds. This ceremony provides an opportunity for Brocktonians to come together and honor the legacy of the individuals who lost their lives on that day, and to show appreciation to our public safety personnel.’’

The ceremony will include tributes by the Brockton Police Department honor guard, the Brockton Fire Department honor guard, and the Brockton Firefighters Pipes & Drums.

For more information, call Maysa de Oliveira in the mayor’s office at 508-580-7123.

COHASSET On Sept. 11, at 1 p.m., members of local churches and Cohasset’s police and fire departments will march in an annual commemorative ceremony on the town common.

DUXBURY The Duxbury Interfaith Council will host a 9/11 Memorial Service next Sunday at 4 p.m. on the Town Green. The police and fire department will participate in the ceremony, along with local officials, representatives from the American Legion, and members of the Duxbury Interfaith Council. There will be music by the Duxbury High School chorus, a Duxbury Interfaith Council youth chorus, and violinist Carson Lloyd. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be held in the sanctuary of First Parish Church on Tremont Street next to Town Hall. For more information, contact the Council at 781-934-8388 or visit

EAST BRIDGEWATER Next Sunday, the East Bridgewater United Methodist Church will present “Honor Our Heroes,’’ a free community picnic and memorial service to remember the events of 9/11 and honor local fire, police, and men and women in the military. It starts at noon, rain or shine, at 54 North Central St., East Bridgewater. For more information, visit

FOXBOROUGH On Saturday, a 9/11 memorial will be dedicated at the Public Safety Building at 8 Chestnut St. at 5:30 p.m. The memorial contains steel from a World Trade Center building in New York. For more information, visit

The following day, the Foxboro Jaycees will hold a candlelight vigil on the town common from 6 to 8 p.m., rain or shine. The Jaycees will give out free candles, pinwheels, and glow sticks to those who attend. Foxboro Cable Access will broadcast the event live. For more information, visit

HALIFAX Next Sunday, the Halifax Fire Department will host a ceremony in front of Halifax Town Hall at 499 Plymouth St. It starts at 1 p.m.

HOLBROOK Winthrop Congregational Church at 16 North Franklin St. will host a 9-11 Community Service of Remembrance on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Holbrook Fire Department will participate in the event, which will include music and refreshments.

KINGSTON The Kingston Fire-Rescue Department will hold a remembrance ceremony next Sunday at the Fire Department Headquarters at 105 Pembroke St. Guests should arrive by 9:45 a.m. and the ceremony will start at 9:55.

“We hope that you will join us in remembering those that lost their lives that day and those that served in the highest traditions of public safety,’’ said Chief Robert T. Heath, on the invitation.

Refreshments will be served afterwards.

MARSHFIELD The Board of Selectmen will hold a special observance at 9 a.m. next Sunday on the Town Green. There will be a moment of silence and prayers, and the selectmen will be joined by the Rev. John Carmichael of St. Ann by the Sea Church, state Representative Jim Cantwell, and the Marshfield Police and Fire Department color guard. Following the ceremony on the Town Green, the Fire Department will host its annual remembrance at department headquarters at 10 a.m.

MILTON The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association will lead the town’s 10th Anniversary Remembrance next Sunday. A brief service with lighted candles will be held at 6:45 p.m. at the gazebo at 525 Canton Ave. (Rain location: First Parish in Milton, 535 Canton Ave.)

NORTON Fire Chief Paul J. Schleicher said there will be a short ceremony next Sunday at 10 a.m. in front of fire headquarters at 70 East Main St. The chief considered sending the department’s honor guard to participate in the large 9/11 event at Battleship Cove in Fall River, but opted to stay local.

“We almost sent our honor guard, but we decided, no, we really wanted to do this in Norton, so local people can pay their respects,’’ he said.

NORWELL The 9/11 Memorial Shadow Run Race will be held at Norwell High School next Sunday. This 9.11K run/walk will accommodate up to 500 runners, and there will be runners in different parts of the world competing at the same time. Members of the Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, and Department of Homeland Security will participate, as will servicemen in Afghanistan and Iraq. Race organizers are trying to raise money to build a facility in the Norwell area where returning soldiers and disabled veterans can exercise and take part in sports and other activities.

“Outrun a Green Beret or Navy Seal for a good cause,’’ said race organizer Matt Hagan, an Army veteran who lives on the South Shore and once served as a paratrooper, combat medic, and in special operations. “This is the first time it’s ever been done, as a joint branch [race]. It took a lot of finagling. We went all way up to the Pentagon to do this. It’s a big deal for us,’’ he said.

Proceeds from the race will also benefit Veterans in Service, the Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial, and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. For more information, visit

“It should be a fun event,’’ Hagen said.

PEMBROKE A commemoration event will be held at the Town Square at 7:30 p.m. next Sunday, rain or shine. The Pembroke Military Support Group will distribute 400 light sticks to those who attend. There will be patriotic songs, guest speakers, a reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, an appearance by the American Legion color guard, and a bugler.

PLYMOUTH The Plymouth Philharmonic Cabaret Orchestra will perform a free concert on the front lawn of Plymouth Public Library at 132 South St. This family-friendly concert will take place next Sunday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics. There will also be a patriotic sing-along led by members of the Pilgrim Festival Chorus.

The Nathan Hale Veterans Outreach Centers of Plymouth and Middleborough will present the third annual “Our Troops Rock! A Tribute to 9/11’’ concert at Nelson Park in Plymouth. The concert will start at 3 p.m. next Sunday,

Next Sunday at 9:45 a.m., a steel beam from the World Trade Center will be dedicated at Plymouth’s 9/11 Memorial on South Spooner Street. The beam is 10 feet long and weighs close to 2,000 pounds, according to Plymouth Fire Deputy Chief Michael Young.

ROCKLAND The “Freedom Walk’’ will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. next Sunday at the Bicentennial Track on Reed Street. Everyone is welcome to walk in honor of 9/11 victims and veterans.

SCITUATE The Clergy Association in Scituate will host an event, details to be announced.

SHARON Next Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. there will be an interfaith service at the Unitarian Church of Sharon (4 North Main St., across from Sharon Public Library). The service will include clergy and laity from Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Unitarian, and Hindu communities. There will also be an annual 9/11 observance at the Sharon Fire Station at 92 South Main St. at 10 a.m.

WALPOLE A memorial ceremony will be held at Walpole Town Hall next Sunday at 8:40 a.m.

WAREHAM A 9/11 remembrance parade will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. next Sunday. It will start from Dudley Square in Onset and proceed to the Onset Pier. There will also be a special presentation at the Onset Band Shell.

WEST BRIDGEWATER Fire Chief Leonard Hunt said a memorial service will be held at the fire station at 9 a.m. on Sept. 11.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.

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