Memorial events for the 20th anniversary of 9/11 are set to take place throughout Alachua County and North Central Florida this weekend.
On Friday, the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System will host a virtual 20th Anniversary of 9/11 remembrance and resource fair at 1 p.m.
“In the aftermath of September 11, countless brave men and women stepped up to serve their country,” David Isaacks, executive director of the healthcare system, said in a statement. “It is important that we continue to partner with them, advocate for them, and provide them with the tools they need to reintegrate back into the very community that they so nobly served and sacrificed for.”
The meeting information is available on the VA’s website.
On Saturday, local radio station 106.9 I Am Country will air three hours of special 9/11 programming from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The show will feature interviews with local leaders, including Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe, Newberry Elementary Principal Vicki McAlhany, Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones, local first responder Mark Smith and Greater Gainesville Chamber CEO Eric Godet.
Excerpts of the interviews will run on mainstreetdailynews.com, and the full special program will be available at iamcountryradio.com.
Also on Saturday, the joint honor guard from Gainesville Fire Rescue and the Gainesville Police Department will begin the city’s memorial at Reserve Park at 8 a.m.
Meanwhile, Alachua County Fire Rescue will join forces with the UF Collegiate Veterans Society for the 5th annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The event is free, but you can donate online with a portion of the funds going to Gainesville first responders.
The first 50 donors of $25 or more will receive a free T-shirt and commemorative coin. Additional T-shirts will be available for purchase at the event.
Check in and T-shirt pick-up begin at 8 a.m. and the stair climb starts at 8:30 a.m. with a welcome presentation and moment of silence.
The climb involves 110 flights of stairs at 10 steps per flight.
The High Springs Fire Department, Police Department, Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe and memorial organizer Leda Carrero will hold a memorial on the steps of the High Springs Fire Department at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Guests can share their memories of 9/11 and browse the garden and memorials outside the station. Special guests include High Springs city officials, Gene Levine and performances by bagpiper Ben Mowry, trumpeter Vito Montauk and vocalist Dani Mackinzie.
The City of Alachua will also memorialize the event at its city hall at 9:30 a.m. The event will feature guest speakers from the first responder community.
The Lake City police and fire departments are hosting a time of public remembrance for those who died in the World Trade Center and from their injuries since then.
The event is scheduled 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the police and fire department. Organizers will stream the event on Facebook live.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story included an event in Newberry that was incorrect.