On Tuesday, seventeen years will have passed since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people in and continues to take a toll on the heroes who answered the call at Ground Zero.
Across East Tennessee, events are planned in remembrance of that day and those who were lost.
MONDAY, Sept. 10:
On Monday, volunteers at the University of Tennessee will gather to place 2977 flags across campus for those lost during the attacks. Volunteers will gather at the amphitheater beside the Humanities and Social Sciences building on campus at 6 p.m.
TUESDAY, Sept. 11:
The City of Knoxville and Knox County will host a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial on the lawn of the City County Building at 400 Main Street. The bells of First Baptist Church will toll at 8:46 a.m. to mark the time hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, and again at 9:03 a.m. for the crash into the second tower. Retired KPD officer and Chaplain Gerald King will lead a prayer, and relatives of Knoxvillians who died in the attacks will be in attendance.
At 8:30 a.m. at World's Fair Park, the fifth annual Knoxville 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb will be held at the Sunsphere. Mayor Madeline Rogero will make remarks and lead a moment of silence, and 343 first responders including fire fighters, EMS, police and military from across East Tennessee will climb the equivalent of 110 stories, many in full gear, in remembrance of the 343 NYC firefighters who died at the Twin Towers. Proceeds raised at the climb will go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
In Oneida, a man will hit the streets of his hometown to honor the victims of Sept. 11. Trinity Smith is making another 50 mile run this year along Alberta Street, this time in full fireman gear. The run starts at 7:30 a.m. and he expects to finish around 8:30 p.m. On the final mile, he will be escorted by other first responders.
At the Alcatraz museum in Pigeon Forge, visitors can check out a display of items from that day. On Sunday, native Art Bohanan shared his firsthand experiences working forensics at the World Trade Center. Bohanan's ID badge, hard had and respirator mask are part of the exhibit. Their hope is it can be used as a learning tool for the younger generation.
Visitors the the Museum of East Tennessee History will have an opportunity to view special items associated with the "Freedom Engine". That was a tribute gift from East Tennesseans to New York City following the events of September 11th. East Tennesseans raised more than 9 hundred and 40 thousand dollars to purchase and equip a ladder truck. The FDNY retires trucks after about 10 years, so the freedom engine retired in 2013. Several artifacts from it were returned to East Tennessee and are on display now.