Events planned for anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks

Published: September 1 2011

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida community has planned several events related to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. New events will be added here as they are scheduled.

UF to hold public 9/11 commemoration in University Auditorium

UF will hold a commemoration Sept. 11 at University Auditorium to mark the 10th anniversary of the U.S. terrorist attacks and honor its victims.

The event, which is open to the public, is scheduled from 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. Speakers will include UF President Bernie Machen; Wayne Griffin, associate director of the UF Counseling and Wellness Center; Student Body President Ben Meyers; and Michael Gannon, professor emeritus of history.

The Gainesville Brass Quintet will perform, and UF student Amanda Jones will perform “America the Beautiful.” In addition, a musical selection will be performed on the Century Tower carillon during the event.

Good deeds to honor 9/11 victims

The Lubavitch-Chabad Jewish Student Center and the Chabad-Lubavitch Student Group will commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with a Good Deed Mitzvah Marathon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 12 at Turlington Plaza.

The event is designed to present students and others with opportunities to do a good deed in memory of the victims of 9/11. Participants will be able to choose from a variety of opportunities. They will fill out a form to document their good deed and attach it to a picture of a victim of 9/11, which will then be fastened to a mini wooden replica of the Twin Towers, creating the “twin towers of good deeds and love.” Each participant will receive a sticker acknowledging his or her good deed. At 12:45 p.m. a moment of silence will take place.

9/11 remembrance, recognition planned for UF-UAB game Saturday

An observance of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is scheduled Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, just before kickoff for the University of Florida football game against the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

The recognition will begin at 6:54 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. A color guard consisting of police, firefighters and others representing the first responders on the day of the attacks will enter the stadium and hand off the colors to the UF ROTC Tri-Service Color Guard.

Following the exchange, the UF Marching Band will perform the national anthem, and a special 9/11 video tribute will be shown on the GatorVision boards at either end of the stadium. During the video, a group representing first responders will be recognized and the University Concert Choir will perform “God Bless America.”

Ten years later: Is our nation prepared?

On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Bob Graham Center for Public Service is hosting a special session on Sept. 11 looking at what many experts consider the real possibility of biological terrorism – the next generation of weapons of mass destruction – and the threat faced by Florida’s major cities.

Joining former Florida governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham for the discussion will be a few of the 70 Bob Graham Center students who spent the summer looking at county emergency preparedness plans against terrorism.

The event, which is open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. in Pugh Hall. It will be a rare opportunity for both students and the public to engage with two of the nation’s leading experts on the current terrorism threats facing the United States.

Graham served for 10 years on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which he chaired during and after 9/11 leading up to the Iraq war. He was also chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, established after the 9/11 attacks to assess the nation’s efforts to prevent weapons of mass destruction proliferation.

That commission reported in 2008 that it is “more likely than not” that a weapon of mass destruction — specifically a biological weapon — will be used in a terrorist attack by the end of 2013. The Bipartisan WMD Terrorism Research Center, co-founded by Graham, is in the midst of developing a report card that measures preparedness across the country.

The Bob Graham Center will be collecting donations at this event for the HONOR Center, an organization helping support homeless veterans. Suggestions of donation items include: cleaning supplies, paper products, linens and clothing.

In addition to the latest analysis on the federal level, a selected group of Bob Graham Center students will share their findings on preparedness for biological attacks at the county and municipal level for the state’s major regions. The session also will feature audio recordings of individual experiences of those who are now in Gainesville recalling their personal 9/11 story in remembrance of that tragic day. The University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program is recording these two- to three-minute audio-only stories for this occasion. They will then be housed as part of the 9/11 Memorial in New York.

The Bob Graham Center is a finalist for a National Day of Service and Remembrance Award, a special citation given to organizations that create public service projects that honor those who died and those who have served because of the tragedies of 9/11. The winner will be announced Sept. 23.

Stories of Sept. 11 victims to be read aloud at Reitz Student Union

The lives of more than 2,000 victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be remembered during a series of readings aloud on the UF campus, starting Friday.

For five days, volunteers will read the book “Portraits 9/11/01,” a series of non-traditional obituaries originally published in The New York Times as “Portraits of Grief” during the months following the attacks. The portraits honored 2,310 of the nearly 3,000 victims.

The event, organized by the University of Florida College Of Fine Arts and the School of Theatre and Dance, coincides with the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. The entire series of portraits will be read over the course of five days at the Reitz Student Union amphitheater. The portraits will be read in alphabetical order, with the reader positioned at a microphone in the amphitheater. Passers-by are welcome to stop and listen.

The readings will begin Sept. 2; after a break for the Labor Day weekend, they will continue Sept. 6-9. Participants will read the portraits from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., totaling 60 hours in five days.

Volunteers from the UF School of Theatre and Dance as well as other schools and supporters from the community will read in 30-minute shifts.

Tim Altmeyer, a theater professor, proposed the project after participating in a similar reading at Ground Zero in New York City on the fifth anniversary of the attacks.

Volunteers may sign up to read at the School of Theatre and Dance front desk located on the second floor of the Nadine McGuire Pavilion or may email their requests to read to Altmeyer at

UF soccer team to honor emergency workers at FGCU game

The UF Gators soccer team on Sept. 11 will commemorate the 9/11 terrorist attacks by offering free admission to all police, firefighters and paramedics during game against the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles.

In addition, the first 150 police, firefighters and paramedics to RSVP will receive a free red, white and blue Gator T-shirt.

The game begins at 6 p.m. in James G. Pressly Stadium on the UF campus. The match also will feature dollar concession day. Select concession items will be available for just $1.

To RSVP, send an email to with the names of the people planning to attend.

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories