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Commemorations, tributes planned for 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
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Commemorations, tributes planned for 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

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A beam from the World Trade Center is part of a 9/11 memorial at Washington Irving Park in Bixby.

With Saturday marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a number of area events and activities are planned.

On Friday, Jenks High School students will start the school day with a tribute to the victims of the attack.

Members of the Young Americans Foundation Jenks Chapter, in partnership with the Student Council, will place 2,977 American flags, one for each victim who died, near the main high school parking oval.

Students will meet at 7:45 a.m. to begin placing the flags. A moment of silence will be held at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York.

On Saturday, Tulsa Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 577 will hold a 20th Anniversary 9/11 Memorial Ceremony in conjunction with the rededication of Veterans Park in a new location.

The ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Tulsa VFW, 1109 E. Sixth St.

Guest speakers will lead off with a remembrance of the sacrifices of police officers, firefighters and the armed services on 9/11, along with a celebration of patriotism.

The event will include military and first responder vehicle displays, a hot rod car show, food and music.

As part of the memorial, VFW members will join with city of Tulsa officials to rededicate Centennial Park as the city’s new Veterans Park.

The move will result in the current Veterans Park being rededicated as Dream Keepers Park to honor the city’s Native American heritage.

Officials said Centennial’s location right between the VFW post and American Legion Post 1 make it ideal to serve veterans. It will also be more accessible and more supportive of heavy machinery and artillery equipment brought in for special events.

In what has become a traditional yearly observance for the Tulsa area, Bixby’s Washington Irving Park, home to a Sept. 11 Memorial, will again host a commemoration.

The event will start at 9 a.m. Saturday at the park, 1300 S. Memorial Drive.

Speakers will include Roger Williams, a retired Tulsa firefighter, and Kathy Frazier, a flight attendant.

The memorial, established by the Friends of Irving Foundation, features a 26-foot-long twisted metal beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers.

The memorial is currently being expanded and soon will have granite markers to honor the victims killed on United Flight 93 and at the Pentagon.

The annual commemorative program is hosted by the Daughters of the American Revolution and will include an honor guard ceremony and moment of silence in memory of the victims.

Another annual event, the Tulsa 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, returns Saturday and will be in-person again after going virtual last year.

Up to 250 firefighters and police officers from across the area will participate, climbing the First Place Tower in downtown Tulsa as a way to honor the first responders who lost their lives in the attacks 20 years ago.

Participants will ascend a total of 110 stories in the tower while in full gear.

Last year’s event was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with participants climbing stairs at a gym or other site and then posting videos online.

Money raised from registration fees will be donated directly to Hydrants of Hope.

In Muskogee, the annual 9/11 Walk to Remember returns.

The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 300 W. Martin Luther King St.

Speakers include Master Sgt. Julie Denison, a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Muskogee Mayor Marion Coleman.

Water and flags will be handed out to participants.

The walk was canceled last year because of the pandemic.

Related video: Americans remember Sept. 11

Americans from across the country reflect on the life-changing impact the world's deadliest terror attack had on their lives. A day forever etched in our minds. A day America promises never to forget. Source by: Stringr

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