By Anne Ruisi
Over the Mountain municipalities are preparing to hold commemorative events to mark the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Hoover will observe the anniversary Sept. 10 beginning at 9 a.m. with a ceremony and stair climb at the Riverchase Galleria.
The ceremony will be held in the Galleria food court. Specific details of the event, such as the guest speaker, still are being set, said Officer Brian Hale, the police department’s public information officer. The speaker usually shares their experience of Sept. 11 and talks about how police and firefighters responded on that day, Hale said.
The stair climb will begin right after the ceremony and will be held at the Galleria Towers. The climb will be the equivalent of 110 stories to commemorate the number of stories in each of the World Trade Center towers in New York City that fell after terrorists crashed passenger jets into the buildings.
While the ceremony is free, those who want to climb need to buy a ticket and register. Climbers will receive a T-shirt, which will be for sale at the event. Proceeds will benefit the Hoover Public Safety Charity. Tickets are $30. Go to eventbrite.com and search for Hoover Climb to Remember to buy tickets. Or call fire department headquarters at 205-444-7655 for more information.
Vestavia Hills, Homewood and Mountain Brook will hold their annual joint event on Sept. 11, Lt. Michael Keller, public information officer for the Vestavia Hills Police Department, said.
The remembrance ceremony and Patriot Day celebration will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Vestavia Hills City Hall. Michael A. Williams of Birmingham will be the keynote speaker.
Williams retired from the U.S. Secret Service after a three-decade career that included protection details for former presidents. He was special agent in charge of the Birmingham Field Office with executive oversight for Alabama and Mississippi. He is a Birmingham native who grew up in Ensley.
The three municipalities alternate holding the annual event on Sept. 11 each year to pay respects to and honor those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks, the department said in a news release.
Commemorating the lives lost and sacrifices made on Sept. 11 “remind our officers and firefighters of what sacrifice can look like and to pay respect to fallen first responders,” the news release said.