remembering the fallen

17 ways to honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in the Houston area

17 ways to honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in the Houston area

Lauren's Garden Houston
A commemorative bike ride will pass through Lauren's Garden in Market Square Park. Photo by Katya Horner

Twenty years have passed and still, the images are just as shocking and agonizing as they were on September 11, 2001. The trifecta of the Twin Towers, Flight 93, and the Pentagon attack cost the nation thousands of lives, spawned a two-decade war in Afghanistan, and sparked the phrase “Never Forget.”

And how can we? That terrible event is rife with terror — but also heroism. Who can forget the images of firefighters marching towards the towers, search dogs desperately hunting for survivors, or families sending their loved ones to war? One small victory was a renewed and lasting respect for first responders across the U.S. 

Here in Houston, myriad events will offer locals an opportunity to mark the anniversary.  May we indeed never forget.

Lauren's Garden Memorial Ride pays tribute to one of Houston’s most notable victims of 9/11: Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, a then-38-year-old who was lost on United Flight 93. The City of Houston cultivated Lauren's Garden in Market Square Park (301 Milam St.) to honor Grandcolas and the other victims of the attack. This scenic bike ride will traverse leisurely through town, stop at murals for photos, and through the garden. Riders will stop at the garden for a moment of remembrance. 7 am.

The Cy-Fair Fire Department will hold a 9/11 commemoration at the department’s Station 11. Chief Amy Ramon will make remarks, followed by a moment of silence and a radio dispatch in honor of first responders. Light refreshments and coffee will be available. 7:30 am.

The Woodlands Township will be hosting two commemorative events. The Patriot Day of Remembrance event will take place at The Woodlands Fire Department Central Station and will feature a ceremony honoring all victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Meanwhile, First Responders Day will begin in the afternoon and will feature a community gathering including an honor guard and presentation of colors for first responders. 7:30 am.

The 5k run/walk known as the 11th annual Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes Run will begin at City Hall at 8 am and make its way through downtown Houston before returning to City Hall.  HPD, HFD, and other participants are honoring those who fell in 9/11 and the sacrifices of the thousands of military and first responder men and woman who have lost their lives since then. 8 am.

The League City Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its annual Memorial Stair Climb at Clear Creek ISD’s Challenger Stadium. Firefighters in full gear and anyone who wishes to participate will climb 110 flights of stairs, the same amount in the World Trade Center buildings. Free to attend or participate. 8 am.

In Conroe, the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Commission, the Montgomery County Fire Chief Association, and Texans United for Freedom will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the attacks with a free event. It will be held at Veterans Memorial Park in Conroe. 8 am.

The City of Tomball will hold a free ceremony in downtown Tomball to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The ceremony will feature a first responders procession and color guards from the Tomball fire and police departments. Lunch will be provided by Tomball Rotary Club to all first responders, veterans, and active duty military. 8:30 am.

At The Lone Star Flight Museum, "Never Forget: Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of 9/11" remembers and honors the 2,977 people killed in the attacks, including the first responders and courageous men and women that risked and sacrificed their own lives to save others. The names of each of these individuals will cover the gallery walls. In addition, an 11-foot section of a World Trade Center I-Beam will be on display. 10 am.

Katy VFW Post 9182 and other organizations will remember 9/11 with a ceremony, prayer service and picnic for veterans and the community. Katy-area first responders will be recognized, including some chosen by their peers who will receive cash awards. The free picnic is open to veterans, their families and the community at large. 10 am.

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations will offer a free meal to first responders. Any firefighters, police officers, paramedics or EMTs who show up to the restaurant with a badge or in uniform will be served a free meal for brunch or dinner. The offer will extend to Sunday, September 12, for any first responders who are working on Saturday and cannot attend.

Local mural artist Donkeeboy has unveiled his latest mural in partnership with LyondellBasell. The massive Never Forget mural (located at 811 Caroline St.) was painted in honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 to celebrate first responders across the country.

MECA will host a 9/11 Day of Service, where participants create an ofrenda (Día De Los Muertos altar) in honor of those who passed away on 9/11. Activities include making vital decorations, such as the cempasuchil (paper flowers), and setting up the ofrenda.

The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Spring has "September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed the World," an educational exhibit (located in the Judith Ann Smith Foyer) detailing the 9/11 attacks through 14 prints. The exhibit will feature archival photographs and artifacts from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Free, but donations are encouraged. 10 am.

The Kingwood Chorale will partner with Resound! and the St. Anne Choir for a special 20th anniversary commemoration performance of Mozart’s "Requiem in D Minor." The free concerts will be held at St. Anne Catholic Church in Houston and at the First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood. The St. Anne concert will be held on Saturday and the First Presbyterian concert will be held on Sunday. 4 pm.

In Clear Lake Park, architect Michael Porterfield will unveil the 25-foot-tall Rotary Peace Monument, which features the inscription “Peace through Understanding” written in eight languages on its sides.

The monument will be dedicated during a Patriot Day event hosted by Precinct 2 and the Rotary Club of Greater Houston Veterans (with support of Pasadena and Space Center Rotary Clubs). Expect food, 9/11 art and educational exhibits, and resources for veterans and first responders, including dozens of organizations that assist veterans and veteran-owned businesses.

Sonia Flew, a play by Melinda Lopez and presented by TEATRX, a LatinX theatre company will honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and highlight the diversity of the LatinX community and their stories. The gripping tale, presented free at Holocaust Museum Houston, follows a family affected by the war and politics of 9/11/ 5:30 pm.