Volunteers around the St. Louis area will come together to honor first responders who risked their lives and those who perished on 9/11, as Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
The United Way designated the ceremony and projects planned for Sunday as signature events for the region.
Manager of O’Fallon Kathy Halstead has helped coordinate O’Fallon’s National Day of Service projects for the past two years and said it's heartwarming to watch the volunteers come together.
“I think everybody was so busy with their own lives, and after 9/11 people realized we need each other to grow and support each other in order to continue surviving in our country,” Halstead told O’Fallon Patch. “This type of service project brings that back into play where people are joining together for a common cause and at same time remembering. It’s one day everyone can unite and get inspired.”
Check out the list of events in O'Fallon for Sunday, Sept. 11.
O’Fallon’s 9/11 Events in Remembrance:
- Stop and Remember: At noon Sunday, all residents are asked to join in a national moment of remembrance by ceasing all regular activity for one minute and, as bells ring and sirens sound, reflect on the lives lost and those affected by the tragedies of 9/11.
- Patriot Day Blood Drive: Volunteers can donate blood at City Hall from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome.
- Patriot Day Ceremony, "A Tribute to First Responders" The ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. at the 9/11 First Responders Memorial behind City Hall. The program features special guest speaker Dawn Robinson, who survived the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. Mayor Bill Hennessy, O’Fallon Police Chief Roy Joachimstaler, O’Fallon Fire Protection District Chief Michael J. Ballmann and St. Charles County Ambulance District Chief Ken Koch will also speak at the ceremony. Attendees are welcome to place flowers at the city’s 9/11 memorial.
- Remembrance Walk—Immediately following the Patriot Ceremony, residents are welcome to join in a mile long walk from City Hall, down Main Street to Sonderen and back.
Halstead said the first half mile of the Remembrance Walk is a solemn time to reflect on the sacrifices made on 9/11. When walkers proceed to Main Street, they are given a flag to show patriotism and express the American spirit.
Registered volunteers will also help out around the city with projects supporting local military and their families, as well as first responders from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2:30-4 p.m. on Sunday.
O’Fallon’s 9/11 Events in Service:
- Assemble 1,000 child identification kits for police to distribute to families
- Deliver Neighborhood Watch brochures and National Night Out fliers
- Paint the firing range building and tables, spruce-up fenced area
- Clean and brighten O’Fallon Veterans Memorial Walk
- Pick up litter along Veterans Memorial Parkway
- Watch scout troops demonstrate the correct way to fold the U.S. flag
- Write letters and decorate thank-you cards for U.S. service members and their families
- Sort and box donated items for shipment to U.S. troops serving overseas
O'Fallon is also hosting a Support Our Troops Supply Drive from Sept. 6-11. St. Charles County residents are invited to drop off supplies for U.S. troops serving overseas.
Collection sites are available throughout the county, including at the following O’Fallon locations:
• (All locations)
Items needed include non-perishable snacks, deodorant and sunblock. For a complete list of supplies needed for the care packages, visit the city's website.
O’Fallon's National Day of Service volunteer projects are coordinated by the city's Volunteer Services, United Way of Greater St. Louis, The Points of Light Foundation/HandsOn Network, the Mission Continues and Operation Homefront.
If you are interested in volunteering on National Day of Service and Remembrance, sign up in advance by contacting O'Fallon Volunteer Services at 636-379-5507 or firstname.lastname@example.org.