Volunteer for 9/11: Parker calls for Houston's remembrance to bring acts ofpublic service
"We will never forget the innocence lost or the innocents who died," Mayor Annise Parker said, beginning a Monday morning press conference on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11th terrorism attacks. "Houston remembers, the nation will remember . . . The most important thing is that we come together."
The City of Houston has organized a weekend of events and activities that will allow Houstonians to honor, remember and reflect upon the lives lost in the tragic events of a decade ago. Houston Grand Opera will be performing Pieces of 9/11 - Memories from Houston, a song cycle by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, throughout the weekend.
A Weekend Kick-Off and Tribute will be held at Hermann Square in front of City Hall at noon on Sept. 9th. At 7 p.m. on Sept. 9, the award-winning documentary Rebirth will screen at Discovery Green.
Sept. 10th will be a day dedicated to service. Mayor Parker has issued a call for volunteers, reminding citizens to complement "private grief [with] public acts of solidarity." The 2nd Annual First Ladies' Eco Bash on the Bayou will take place along Brays Bayou from 8 to 11 a.m., and Compassionate Houston has worked with nonprofits and religious and community groups to organize volunteer and service activities throughout the day, across the city. (To sign up as an individual volunteer through Compassionate Houston, or to register your group, click here.)
The September Concert will be held at the University of St. Thomas at 7 p.m.
On the Sunday morning of Sept. 11 itself, the 9-11 Heroes Run to honor the fallen will begin at 9:03 a.m. at Ellington Airport. A moment of remembrance will be held nationwide, at noon, and the Houston Grand Opera will perform a final concert at the Rothko Chapel at 2 p.m.
The City of Houston's top priority — budgetary and otherwise — has been public safety, especially since the events of Sept. 11th. The city recognizes that the petrochemical industry makes Houston a potential terrorism target, but Mayor Parker cites a recent $66M grant, which will help to reinforce security and preparations.
"There will be appropriate levels of security throughout the weekends' events," Parker said. "We never drop our guard," said Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland.