MURRIETA – A series of tributes are planned Monday in Murrieta and Riverside in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
As they’ve done for the past 13 years, Murrieta police officers and firefighters will don heavy tactical gear and go on a five-mile “9/11 Tribute Run,” beginning about 7 a.m. in Town Square Park.
Between 30 and 40 runners are expected to participate, carrying an American flag and commemorative guidon, intended to recognize the sacrifices of public safety and military personnel who perished during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
The run will conclude at the same location, about an hour later.
At 8:30 a.m. in Riverside, the city will begin its annual “Day of Service,” marking 9/11 with activities that promote charity and selflessness.
“The Day of Service is a great opportunity for our local government, our business community, our nonprofit organizations and our residents to honor those we lost that day and thank our first responders for their work,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said.
The event will begin with a patriotic musical presentation on the Main Street plaza fronting City Hall, featuring the UC Riverside Pipe Band. A color guard ceremony with representatives from the Riverside Police and Fire Departments, as well as American Medical Response, will be coupled with a singing of “God Bless America” and the national anthem.
A moment of silence is scheduled at 9:11 a.m.
Throughout the day, there will be blood drives at City Hall and at Riverside Public Utilities, 2911 Adams St.
Volunteer cleanup teams will fan out from the city center in the morning to remove refuse and engage in other beautification efforts, according to organizers.
“This event mixes a somber remembrance with a joyful opportunity to give back to the community,” said Councilman Mike Gardner.
The Day of Service will end about 6 p.m. at Glory of God’s Grace Plaza on the campus of La Sierra University, where members of the university’s Department of Music, along with musicians from the Alvord Unified School District and the King High School Band, will play contemplative songs, with closing remarks from local officials.
The city of Murrieta will hold a “Sunset 9/11 Service,” beginning at 7:15 p.m., adjacent to the unfinished 9/11 Memorial in Town Square Park.
Community Services Department spokeswoman Lea Kolek said that Mayor Rick Gibbs and Police Chief Sean Hadden will lead the observation, which will include a color guard presentation by police officers and fire personnel, followed by a singing of the national anthem.
Kolek said after brief remarks, officials will unveil the memorial, which consists of a slanted rock on which a plaque is planned with quotes from former President George W. Bush, speaking immediately after the attacks. There is also a bench nearby with the inscription “We Will Never Forget.”
More than 200 people are expected to turn out for the event, and all attendees will be invited to leave potato-sized rocks around the memorial.
“The rocks can be painted with a patriotic theme, or just contain words, prayers, poems,” Kolek said.
She said torches will be lit at the beginning of the service and extinguished in memory of the nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11.