Volunteers mark 9/11 anniversary with community service

BOSTON — Sunday marks the 21st anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center that killed nearly 3,000 people. 206 of those killed were from Massachusetts.

In Boston, 9/11 commemorations began outside the State House with a moment of silence. It was accompanied by a reading of the names of those who died that day in 2001.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu participated in the reading, along with people who lost loved ones in the terrorist attack. The presentation of the Madeline “Amy” Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery took place after this.

Also on Sunday, the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund gathers volunteers to fill care packages for overseas troops and veterans. in Massachusetts on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. On top of that, there’s a new way to honor local victims of the attack. A giant flag was created with the names of the victims on the green lane.

Katie Pakenham lost her half-brother, Timothy Stout, on 9/11. She wants the names of the victims to represent much more.

“It’s hard that he got lost that day. It’s horrible,” she said. “What we try to do on the anniversary of this day is to reflect on the best qualities of the people we have loved and lost and the best qualities of the people who have come together to make a difference this that day.”

She says that in the 9/11 tragedy, people stepped in to help in any way they could, that’s why Sunday will be a day of service, and volunteers on the green lane will each learn the story of a life lost. that day, or a service member who has since died so that no one will be forgotten.

“Each volunteer will have the opportunity to think of a person, to say their name, to read their biography, to reflect on the contribution they have made,” Pakenham said.

Organizers say it’s important to continue this spirit of giving that happened right after 9/11, and it will connect many young adults in the Project 351 youth movement, who weren’t born 21 years ago.

“Our young people can come to honor and remember, even if they weren’t alive in 2001. It just goes to show that this legacy of hope and unity can continue years later,” said Michaela Campbell of the Project 351.

As the volunteers gathered on the giant flag, Pakenham says 21 years ago they were strangers. Now they are part of the family.

“I feel such love and attachment to so many of these names now because of the families surrounding them.”

Jill E. Washington